New Areas In Media Research

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Media studies is a deeply involved area in our lives as it is a reflection of reality, and it is affected by the dynamics of paradigms that push and pull various elements of society back and forth. The various phenomena of the digital media age, which Andrejevic (2013) extensively addressed in his book, have reminded me that those are not created and controlled by any single institution or individual. The contemporary info-glut era is a collection of reflective contradictions that correspond to the more complex social structure, ideology, and the trend and needs of the times of political, social, and economic culture. These relations, connectivity, and interactions between institutions and individuals affecting our day-to-day life are becoming more important than ever before.

We experience new forms of control and manipulation caused by data mining or the demise of symbolic efficiency, and we are also challenged by the imperfect language medium expressed in the media and the consequential limitations. The need for control over post-knowledge structures emphasized by Andrejevic (2013) at the end of his book will have to be reconsidered for better adjustment of the incomplete and sometimes unequal structures that occur in various contexts under neoliberalism.

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In particular, an increasingly important part of media studies is to maintain a critical and constructive perspective as noted by Gill and Kanai (2018). No matter how technology improves, the ‘technical approach’ alone cannot analyze or fully understand the broad contexts or emotional realms of our lives. In a conflict of ideological structures, social imbalances, inequalities, cultural differences, and gaps between interests, we must continue to challenge those contradictions by forming our own perspectives and thinking critically.

The last week’s readings allowed me to further consider applying a sense of ‘value’ to my research. Before commencing this media study, I cannot help but admit that the media was vaguely recognized by myself as a convenient and entertaining tool.’ The more this complacency gets to understand the complex dynamics of the media environment (van Daijk & Powell 2013), the more I face the enormous stream of ‘relations’ that sits behind it. I have come to realize that understanding media logic and underlying neo-liberalistic ideology is significant in that we have relative connectivity to gain limited freedom from control and to return to it.

Amid this reflection, the term ‘subjectivity’ may likely be regarded as important in my research since the idea generates power for better compromise in the migrant online community. In terms of Korean immigrant women’s online café community context, I contend that emphasizing the whole process in which immigrant women’s subjectivity is shaped and maintained is not intended to create a conflict structure between men and women, or between social powers and the weak. From what perspective and in what way should I deal with immigrant media? What kind of goals do immigrant women seek to achieve through the shared emotions in the community? What additional roles will be given out to the ‘virtual space’ which represents such feelings and communications? In this regard, the questions that I will seek to answer in my research seem to be getting a bit clearer. In particular, I will look further on ways of providing a sense of social/emotional wellbeing to immigrant women by making use of a bond of sympathy and a sense of belonging formed in the café community space. It will consequently allow them to actively mediate the contradictions between their home-based community and Australian society.

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