From Violent Video Games to Mental Health Illnesses: A Critical Discourse Analysis behind the Media’s Treatment of Sandy Hook
The dissertation aims is to establish how two British news outlets has wrongly accused violent video games and mental health illnesses as being the killer’s motivator behind The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting (2012). A two-part methodology, critical discourse analysis and surveys were used to contradict these existing discourses of scapegoating. From analysing six online news articles between 2012 -2014, from the perspectives of the Daily Mail and The Telegraph, it demonstrated through Foucault’s critical theory of language and power, that hidden messages were used to describe and propagate audience’s perception on how violent video games and mental health illnesses were causal factor behind the massacre. From the findings, it concluded that violent video games, which has been the primary scapegoat for a very long time, became a dying topic in recent media and how audience’s perceptions has opposed with the media’s views. Psychological research has proven no correlations between violent video games, as well as mental health illnesses being influential factor to the mass school shooting. However, this incident was kept alive through the strategies of scapegoating, as it was considered as newsworthy, after reports showing the transitions from victimising violent video games in 2012 to mental health illnesses in 2014.
A major export coming out of Japan for the last couple decades has been in the form of comic books. These are commonly known as manga and their animated form is called anime. Manga which was born in Japan can now be widely found across the world in local book stores to our local libraries and has grown a huge following over in the west. I wanted to investigate the origins behind the creation of manga and anime, also the influences it had when it was being formed. I also wanted to discover how manga had impacted on the west and why it has become the major export coming out of Japan. I found several examples of how both western comic books and manga had taken influence from each other as well as anime had impacts on western cartoons. Manga and anime had even made it into western cinema and gained praise over in the west. The reason for making the dissertation was to make people more aware of what manga really is and how it has impacted on Japan and the rest of the world.
Since the digital revolution technology has changed the way in which society communicates with the decline in face-to-face communication and the shift towards communicating online. This dissertation will explore how ‘Catfishing’ as a phenomenon has impacted the way in which social media is used as people have become less connected to each other. Catfishing is the term used to describe the creation of a false identity online normally with the premise to lure someone into a relationship. The issue that surrounds Catfishing is that social networking sites have presented a new platform in which identities can be performed. Catfish the TV Show introduced ‘Catfishing’ when it was first premiered in 2012 in America before airing in the UK. The TV show highlighted existing themes on gender and sexuality relating to Judith Butler’s theory on gender performance. Building on the theories of Judith Butler and Sherry Turkle the research will consist of four case studies to analyse how Catfishing has changed our ideas of constructing relationships, reality and the self.
What is a Fan? A Short Documentary
This short documentary explores the realm of fan culture and activity. Without hesitation it asks the audience the ultimate question, what is a fan?
I produced this documentary because I am fan myself, and I used this as a tool to help me realise my true self and what it means to be a fan. The film itself, explores deeper into the world of fan culture, asking questions whether there are different ways to be a fan and if this means that someone is less of a fan because they practice it differently. The documentary is focused around interviews from London’s Film and Comic Con, and a profile of a ‘hard-core’ fan. The questions asked are based on the area of fandoms and why it’s all coming to the forefront of society now. The questions posed cause the interviewees to think and make them contemplate what it actually means to be a fan and why it matters. Also, they are asked to consider the negative side within fandoms, and see if this prevents them in any way as being a fan. However, the documentary isn’t looking for the right answer. It’s used as a way to represent the fans themselves. Those who are open and want to show outsiders the truth about the fan world and get them to engage with this area.
So, this is a fan creating a short documentary about fans and it’s up to you, the viewer, to decide what a fan is.
Identity & Consumption: Men’s Health Magazine
My dissertation explores the concepts and notions of Identity and Consumption as twin discourses, in co-existence with each other. With relation to Men’s Health magazine, I wanted to explore how men simultaneously identify and consume with a masculine portrayal. This project was firstly derived from the notion of the quantified self, the measuring, the numerics, the facts, the info-graphics and ultimately; the self critique of man and then goes on to discuss how this is presented in Men’s Health magazine, through the techniques mentioned above. In a world where the media is continuously scrutinising women, it would be credible to explore the connections between a male media piece and its effect on identity and consumer culture, through the avenue of the ‘quantified self’. Men’s Health has been defined in this study as allowing for the ‘critique of the self’ reinforcing the idea that men control their own destiny. This study has also found that this could have an effect on the current masculine identity, linked with a possible shift towards the traditional male.