Introduction to Culture Jamming
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Introduction to Culture Jamming



This presentation is by a student from "Acting Up - Using Theater & Technology for Social Change," part of the online education program at The School for New Learning. Tom Tresser, instructor - ...

This presentation is by a student from "Acting Up - Using Theater & Technology for Social Change," part of the online education program at The School for New Learning. Tom Tresser, instructor -



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Introduction to Culture Jamming  Introduction to Culture Jamming Presentation Transcript

  • Culture Jamming
  • What is Culture Jamming?
    • Coined in 1984, refers to a tactic used by consumer social movements.
    • Disrupts or ruins reputation of mainstream cultural insititutions.
    • Guerrilla Semiotics and Night Discourse are sometimes used interchangeably along with culture jamming.
    • Practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements.
    • Re-figuring logos, fashion statements, and product images to challenge the idea of "what's cool“.
  • Effects on Social Change
    • McDonald’s has been criticized by many groups in regards to lack of nutritional value behind its menu.
    • Lawsuits have been filed against this franchise along with numerous anti-McDonalds campaigns resulting in a significant social media response.
    • The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) launched an ad campaign in the United States linking McDonald’s products to heart disease.
    • Consumers have mixed feelings toward the campaign, but ultimately still criticize McDonald’s for not adding healthier alternatives to their current menu.
  • Walmart
    • Wal-Mart critics argue that Wal-Mart's corporate policies violate the rights of its workers.
    • It damages the environment as it steps over and crushes small businesses.
    • Wal-Mart has been accused of selling merchandise for too cheap and competitors have tried to sue for predatory pricing.
    • The government had to get involved in the pricing of Wal-Mart pricing of prescription pills because of the many complaints from other pharmacies.
    • Activists have portrayed Wal-Mart as giant walking into town and destroying all of the small businesses.
  • Coca-Cola
    • Has long been the subject of criticism by consumers groups and watchdog groups.
    • Much of the criticism based around possible health effects of consumption, questionable labor practices, poor environmental record, engagement in monopolistic business practices and questionable marketing strategies.
    • As a result, many pressure groups have been formed.
    • The Killer Coke campaign was brought about to stop the horrific violence against the leaders and organizers of the workers’ union SINALTRAINAL in Colombia and Guatemala.
  • Advantages
    • Culture jamming is useful because it can influence people to change their ideas and behaviors or to reinforce the attitudes of those who already have negative views.
    • Culture jamming is a cost-effective way for activists to get their message across.
    • Social networking sites have made it possible for practically anyone to voice concerns about any specific corporation and its practices.
  • Disadvantages
    • Culture jammers face the danger of advertising the product instead of attaching a critical message to an image.
    • Culture jamming can backfire if a group wrongfully sabotages a corporate entity or government agency to serve a political or personal purpose.
    • Culture jamming is an intriguing tactic used by activists to spread awareness of a certain cause and spark strong emotions among society.
    • The logic behind culture jamming is for the public to convert easily identifiable images into critical questions.