Economou, Inge

Re-representation: Addressing objectifying media portrayals of women in South Africa

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Media & Communications Design

Objectification imparts harm to women and sets a detrimental precedent for self-objectification. This is particularly true for young women who are seeking information to assist them in the process of identity construction. Experimental studies indicate that objectification in media causes negative body esteem, an unnecessary drive for thinness, eating disorders and related psychological problems. Globalised media trends emphasise and value women for their physical appearance. These trends de- personalise women, depict them as objects to be gazed at, and style them as decorative, rather than a person with a mind, aptitude, intellect, personality and a ‘voice’.

Problematic motifs: portrayals and identity construction of women in visual consumer media

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Discipline: 

Photography, Film & Multimedia

Considerable  criticism  has  been  levelled  at  problematic  visual  portrayals  of  women  in  consumer  and  popular media.  Current  Western  media  landscapes  feature  images  of  women  that  engender  problematic  ‘narrow’ identity constructs – marginalising agency and intellect, promoting physical idealisation, sexual objectification, and commodification  – and, as such,  reproduce  patriarchal  discourse.  Despite  the rise of feminism  and the resultant  increased  awareness   of  and  advances  in  the  area  of  gender  equality,  stereotyped   images  of sexualised,  objectified  and  idealised  women  seem  to  persist  globally  and  in  South  Africa.  Images  exert discursive power and have the ability to shape people’s identities, beliefs, and behaviour.

The Problem with Plagiarism

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Graphic Design & Visual Art

This study examines the concept of visual plagiarism within a contemporary cultural context shaped by postmodern design theory and the digital information age, as a challenging concern for tertiary level graphic design education.

This paper does not condone plagiarism, however it asks design lecturers to reconsider taken-for-granted assumptions that students operate in an unambiguous environment of 'wrong' and 'right' when it comes to the concept of visual plagiarism. It seems that graphic design students find it increasingly difficult to navigating the grey areas between plagiarism, appropriation, homage, inspiration, 'referencing, coincidence and 'accident'.

Towards An Educational Strategy For Promoting Social, Environmental And Ethical Awareness In Visual Communications

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Visual Communications at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), incorporating graphic design and photography, aspires to instil social, environmental and ethical sensitivity within students in order to meet a perceived increase in demand for these issues to be addressed at local and global level. To meet this imperative students are required to produce visual communications solutions for charitable organisations and participate in community-linked photographic excursions that expose them to social and environmental issues within real life scenarios.

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