Monthly Archives: November 2009

Uses and Gratifications Theory in International PR

Uses and Gratifications theory (U&G) shows an interest in studying an audience’s uses of the media and what they are hoping to get out of the experience. This theory to me best describes any international encounter. For example when signing up for International PR, I did not know what to expect, I did have expectations of what I wanted to get out of the course, but I did not know if those expectations were going to met.

When it comes to social networking U&G would probably be the best the theory to use in describing any experience. For example now that we are so involved with computer-mediated communication, individuals have expectations for what they are hoping to get out of sites. For someone who has never used any Web 2.0 applications might have higher expectations of what they would get out of the experience. This semester I enrolled in Theories of Mass Communication and in this course we collaborated our experiences into writing a team autoethnography on our thoughts through communicating through other mediums beside face-to-face. To be honest, I did learn a lot from the experience because I was working with an International student. This was a struggle but at the same time it made me realize that I can work with others, even if they are not fluent in English. It was hard sometimes to try and translate exactly what she was saying in e-mails or through our team blog and it was even harder to read her emotions because that is a challenge to begin with regardless of where someone is from. Working with an international student is an experience in itself.

A Diner’s World Tour- Diversity Calendar

On November 16, 2009 I attended A Diner’s World Tour at Landrum on Georgia Southern’s campus. The event was like a festival in which there were a variety of foods spread out among Season’s in Landrum. Since it was not just one culture being represented here, there was not just one culture present- there were many! The event started at 12 p.m., I did not get there until 12:30 p.m. which was the prime time for students wanting to catch an international lunch with a variety of foods. The lines were slowly starting to get longer, as well as the smell of the food was getting stronger.

The make-up of the people attending A Diner’s World Tour was very diverse when it came to gender, race and ethnicity. This was surprising because not many campus events that I have attended in the past are full of diversity. After asking a handful of students what year they were at GSU, there seemed to be a pattern of freshmen, this was probably due to the fact that the freshmen dorm is right across the road from there or the fact that the majority of freshman have meal plans.

I did not really learn much from the event, because it was not very formal. The event was very casual- come as you are, eat lunch talk with a few people and leave as you please. It would not surprise me  if some of the people who attended did not even realize that  there was an event going on, some might have just thought there was international food that day just because. I would attend the event again in the future if there was another one, especially since I did not try any of the foods and I would want to next time.

Freshmen Jenni Farahdel told me that she did not really notice  a major difference in Landrum yesterday, except for a little larger crowd and a stronger smell of foods. I asked Jenni if there was anything that she would have liked to see different at Season’s that day, and she said it would have been nice to see some jewish foods like challah, potatoe latkes and matzah, because these food represent her and her family.

In comparing this event to other American events, this reminded me much of a food court at the mall. Because food courts are full of a variety of people and a variety of foods. Also in food courts you can taste small portions and purchase larger portions just like how it was at Landrum.

I did not feel as if I was part of a different culture because the event took place at where I go to school. But I did feel as if I were in an unfamiliar place because I did not recognize anyone except one other class member from my PRCA 3333 course. I did not feel uncomfortable here, but I did feel slightly uncomfortable sitting by myself as I observed all the people actually participating in A Diner’s World Tour.

Overall, I believe that the event was a success and that there was a variety of people who attended and everyone seemed to be really satisfied with all the foods present.

 

Richard Bailey- Skype Diversity Choice (international film)

On November 5, 2009 our International PR class met with Richard Bailey via Skype. He was located in the UK and our class was in the normal spot in Veazey Hall in Statesboro, GA. Bailey also had Powerpoint slides to accompany his discussion on PR in the UK.

He started off by asking if we all spoke English, and then proceeded to ask the class to tell him where they had been outside of the United States. After my classmates started saying all the countries they had traveled to outside the United States, he told us that we did not fit the standard American profile. This was because most Americans are viewed by others to not even own passports. This is actually true of myself, I have never left the country and I still don’t have a passport at age 21. One thing that really shocked me was how many of my classmates had actually been outside the U.S., it seemed as if I was the only one or  maybe one of the few that had not left the U.S. and that all my traveling had taken place in the states.

During Bailey’s discussion he mentioned the UK and their media outlets, institutions, global institutions and organizations. He went into detail and used the analogy of how globalization is like a game that you can’t win- and that people see only “rich people” and then look at globalization is how all the others lose the game.

Overall I found Bailey’s discussion interesting, but due to technical difficulties with Skype that day it was hard to fully engage in the conversation since I could only hear him and not see him.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

On November 9, 2009 I chose to go and see The Diving Bell and the Butterfly as a choice for my International PR class on an International film.  This film was originally a french movie and then was translated to English for viewers.

The film was about the editor of a magazine having a stroke and completely paralyzing him. He was coherent and could understand what people were saying but he could not respond to anything said. Bauby had to communicate completely by his eyes, in which he developed a blinking code and in the end he actually wrote a whole book just by blinking it out.

As for the diversity of students that actually came to the film, I would say that it was not the most diverse event I had been to. There were familiar faces there though, because  all my Research group members are  all in International PR and we decided to go together after one of our  group meetings. The movie itself did not really show an accurate representation of the culture in France. The movie was more of an autobiography about just Bauby, it did not really show the French culture, especially since it was all translated. I found the movie very interesting and I would probably attend an event again playing the movie or maybe even go rent the movie. I found it amazing that the movie was based on a true story and that someone was actually that talented to write a whole book just by blinking out the words.

In comparing this film to going and watching an American film, I would say that the experiences are very similar. I personally find going to watch a movie in a theatre like setting is the same anywhere you go to watch a movie.

Since there really was not much diversity at the film showing I did not really feel timid or overwhelmed. I felt very comfortable there especially since I was sitting with people who I knew.

This reminding me of something funny I saw this weekend!

Jenni

On Saturday night, Jenni looked like this on a "dog."

Diversity at GSU

Last night I went to what most college students would consider a “small party.” It was the typical college party with kegs, loud music, people playing beer pong and pool, guys outside smoking while the girls stood by the fire outside to keep warm. 

 It was around 11:30 when one of my guys friends called and told me to stop by for a second, so me and my roommate decided why not? We figured why not its 11:30pm we will go for an hour just to say hey, then be home by 12:30-1am.  When we first walked up to the house I noticed that I only really recognized two of guys standing there, so I went right up to my friend that called to say hey. I figured that all these people that were there that he knew since it was his house, but comes to find out he did not know them, they were just his random neighbors who had heard the music and decided to stop by. 

My roommate says she is going inside for a second because she was cold, so I followed her in there. Little did we know that we were walking into a living room with a pool table with 6 girls dancing around the table.  I could not help but notice that these girls were hippies. Their style was unique and different and their look was something I would see from my mom’s yearbook.

 A little later I walk onto the screen porch and there are people playing beer pong, I glanced around and saw 2 asians smoking, 3 african americans playing around the bench press machine, 7 caucasians crowded around the keg, and about 3 people who were hispanic, just quietly keeping to themselves.

 As sad as this sounds I think this was the most diverse party I had ever been to in Statesboro. I definately think that GSU is diverse place, between my classes, my jobs, and where I live there is diversity all around me.  But going to a party where I really didn’t recognize anyone and then seeing all the different people made me realize even more how diverse GSU really is.

 Then the more I thought about it, this is what the real world is going to be like after college. Small get togethers with co-workers are going to be full of diversity and different personalities. I do not feel that there is a lack of diversity in Statesboro or at GSU, but I do feel that there is a lack of diversity when it comes to students all hanging out when it is not school related.  There is plenty of diversity at both of my jobs; I work at a bar on Thursdays where students from all ethnicities and races come to relieve a little stress, and I also work at a local apartment complex where the tenants are mainly students from GSU, but the tenants are from everywhere, including international students as well. 

This scenario right here opened up my eyes  in a good way.   I’m in my fourth year of college, and what is sad is this was the most diverse thing that I had been to by choice that was not an on-campus mandatory event, simply going to class, or walking across campus.