Introduction to Culture Jamming


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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

  1. 1. Culture Jamming
  2. 2. What is Culture Jamming? <ul><li>Coined in 1984, refers to a tactic used by consumer social movements. </li></ul><ul><li>Disrupts or ruins reputation of mainstream cultural insititutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Guerrilla Semiotics and Night Discourse are sometimes used interchangeably along with culture jamming. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements. </li></ul><ul><li>Re-figuring logos, fashion statements, and product images to challenge the idea of &quot;what's cool“. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Effects on Social Change <ul><li>McDonald’s has been criticized by many groups in regards to lack of nutritional value behind its menu. </li></ul><ul><li>Lawsuits have been filed against this franchise along with numerous anti-McDonalds campaigns resulting in a significant social media response. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) launched an ad campaign in the United States linking McDonald’s products to heart disease. </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers have mixed feelings toward the campaign, but ultimately still criticize McDonald’s for not adding healthier alternatives to their current menu. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Walmart <ul><li>Wal-Mart critics argue that Wal-Mart's corporate policies violate the rights of its workers. </li></ul><ul><li>It damages the environment as it steps over and crushes small businesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Wal-Mart has been accused of selling merchandise for too cheap and competitors have tried to sue for predatory pricing. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The government had to get involved in the pricing of Wal-Mart pricing of prescription pills because of the many complaints from other pharmacies. </li></ul><ul><li>Activists have portrayed Wal-Mart as giant walking into town and destroying all of the small businesses. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Coca-Cola <ul><li>Has long been the subject of criticism by consumers groups and watchdog groups. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>As a result, many pressure groups have been formed. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Advantages <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Culture jamming is a cost-effective way for activists to get their message across. </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking sites have made it possible for practically anyone to voice concerns about any specific corporation and its practices. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Disadvantages <ul><li>Culture jammers face the danger of advertising the product instead of attaching a critical message to an image. </li></ul><ul><li>Culture jamming can backfire if a group wrongfully sabotages a corporate entity or government agency to serve a political or personal purpose. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Culture jamming is an intriguing tactic used by activists to spread awareness of a certain cause and spark strong emotions among society. </li></ul><ul><li>The logic behind culture jamming is for the public to convert easily identifiable images into critical questions. </li></ul>