MEDA 302: Week 3 – Research Opportunities

Starting a degree in International Relations is one of the key ways I thought I could get a better perspective of the world and get an insight at what makes the world a better place. I thought that it would give me to learn about the opportunity to maintain positive diplomatic relations between countries, prevent international conflicts, and make sure things run smoothly between governments in our highly interconnected world. But as it turns out this isn’t exactly all that I wanted to do. While I was learning about these things and covering more serious topics, I also covered different topics that were more fun and sparked my interest. These were topics such as cultural communications and languages. Luckily, international relation specialists have a broad set of career options in addition to politics, and can get involved in fields like economics, social systems and the cultural life of communities. All this makes International Relation studies a very versatile subject offering plenty of opportunities.


No matter what degree you do, its what you do with that degree that counts. In regards to international studies I think ultimately if someone really wants to pursue it further it would be either as a academic, government department. However my goals are more based around the corporate world in some sort of embassy where I can use my language skills. I’m also someone who likes to follow orders and procedure. Being given direction and instruction helps me as a don’t work well when Im given too much freedom and variety. I think a corporate job will give me the discipline that I need to work effectively with. This may sounds pretty boring  to some, but for now it’s something that I know I would love doing since I love talking to people and solving issues. So the kind of opportunity I could make for myself would be to further improve my knowledge and skills to find employment where I am given tasks that I am interested in such as human relations.

Image reference:

Corp D. (2017). [image].


BCM 212: Task 1 – Research Proposal “Sex Education for Australian Students”.

The question about the birds and the bees is one that many families try to avoid. Some families are more open about this subject than others, while a good portion relies on sex education classes that are given to students during high school. My family was one that remained silent about the topic, but then again I never asked. I assumed that babies just happened when a man and woman were married. It wasn’t until year 8 and 9 that I learnt about the whole scheme of things. I was mortified. I had no idea that this was what it took to create a human being. My mum and dad did that!? My high school had sex education from year 8 to year 9 and then it ended abruptly. “Well now what?” I thought to myself. That’s when most young people will turn to the internet or ask their friends (who are likely to give false accounts to impress) to find out more about the things they are curious about. This ought to have a different impact based on each individual’s experience.

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It is only recently that we as a society have become more open to the topic of sex and sexuality. I am curious about where university students have gotten their sex education from in the past and how this has changed their views on sex as adults/university students. Do university students think there are enough available facilities and services that cater to educating students about sex? How has their education shaped their initials ideals about sex and sexuality versus how they view it now as adults. I am aware that some families may not be comfortable with allowing their children to be exposed to sex education. I am curious to know if there are students who have experienced this and how they ended up learning about sex and sexual health. Not only would I like to ask students about the source of their sex education and their experiences with this, but also if the statements mentioned above are true: do students feel as though there is a lack in range of areas that are taught during their early education? Also, how has their exposure to sex education altered their personal life and experiences as young adults? Is there anything that they think universities can offer to supplement the things that they did not learn in high school?

There are many questions that I would like to focus on throughout this study. Emeritus Professor Bruce Johnson from the University of South Australia states that it’s not just the biological aspects of sex that students want to learn, but also social topics within the area of sex. “They (students) want to know about love, starting a relationship, gender diversity, breaking up, violence in relationships, sexual pleasure and a range of other topics,”.  Another source that indicates that this is an issue that needs to be explored, is an organization called “Sex Education Australia”. SEA argues that worldwide research indicates that young people need better sexual health and relationship education. They mention that “In Australia, some universities are realizing that this type of support needs to be offered to their student populations.” SEA works at the tertiary level with domestic and international students, delivering sessions to colleges as well as students to combat this issue that we find mutually important. As we can see from these two tertiary level organizations, lack of depth in sex education is clearly an issue that needs to be researched further.


ABC News. (2018). Puberty is beginning at 8, but is our sex-ed keeping up?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Mar. 2018].

Anon, (2018). [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Mar. 2018].

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations. (2018). Sexuality education in Australian Secondary Schools: averting a sexual health crisis among young people – Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Mar. 2018]. (2018). Sex Education Australia – For Universities. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Mar. 2018].

The Conversation. (2018). Rational, modern sex education is a must for all Aussie kids. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Mar. 2018].





MEDA 301: Week 2 – Researching my field.

As a International Studies student, its always been difficult to pin point an exact job that fits into my degree the way a degree in accounting or engineering does. I can apply for jobs in government, journalism, law, non-governmental organizations, international business, and teaching and research. However none of these fields are “artistic” which worries me when it comes to this class… I’d hate to admit this but I have never been much of a creative thinker or a creative person in general! I’d much rather follow instruction and get the task done according to order. It bothers me that I don’t know what I am good at yet and I hope that I can find what this is as I try out different forms of employment throughout my life.

A practioner that I look upto in my field is Professor Judith Goldstein. Professor Goldstein works at Stanford University and she focuses on international political economy, and trade politics. Her practices really encompass the topics that I have studied during my course and I think she is immensly successful at what she does. She has also founded Humanity in Action, an international educational organization, in 1997 and serves as its executive director.

I have tried various artistic practices such as painting, drawing, photography, 3D printing, drone flying, sound and lighting work, and musical forms of art – none of which particularily interest me. I love to try new things and am always open to learning but in all honesty it’s just not a field that I will choose to pursue. As I mentioned earlier, I like to follow instruction and build on existing ideas. I guess this is why I like things like history, law, and culture. These things already exists and its upto you how you interpret these things and relate them to our world today.


MEDA 301: Week 1 – Defining my practice and field.

Walking into my first ever MEDA class in 4th year and realising that everyone had mainly artistic practices was admit-tingly daunting. I’m studying a double degree in International studies and communications media and doing a language minor in Mandarin. My only semi-artistic hobby is taking photos and perhaps doing the occasional crochet project. I have my own YouTube channel with tutorials on some crochet projects where I show people how I have interpreted my Turkish neighbours instructions. I think this highlights my interest in language interpretation. My other interests include environmental issues, war, history, religion and culture. Learning a third language, I wasn’t aware of just how much culture influences the words and expressions we use. Since studying mandarin and going on exchange, I have become increasingly culturally aware.


Since I like taking photos, I think stop-motion would be a really cool field to discover. Growing up with looney tunes I always wondered how they animated the cartoons in an age where technology was not made as available as it is today. I remember my cousin telling me that they would draw them by hand using stop-motion. As a child my brother and I would purchase little books that had blank pages. We would draw figures and characters over and over again on each page, slightly altering them each time. When we were finished, we flicked through the pages and would see a moving picture. We would flick through our little book over and over again in complete awe. Apparently this is called “Flip Book Animation”. I am aware that my interest in practise throughout this MEDA course may change as I experiment with different mediums, which is very exciting since I have never worked with many of these.

By the end of my degree I am hoping that I will be qualified enough to work in an environment that allows me to communicate with people from all different backgrounds and cultures. What I hope to bring to the table is my passion for culture and communication. Since there are many topics that interest me, it would be great if I could use a field that I do not have much knowledge in (which is almost every field in this course) but that interests me to develop my knowledge.


“Eye Opening”…literally

My Autoethnography path slightly changed during my research. I was able to look into the idea that tattooing is frowned upon yet plastic surgery is common from a different perspective than I had at the beginning of my research.  I found that although at first the fact that tattooing was so taboo in Korea amazed me, I could find logic in this and I was able to provide reason for it. It is not so much that tattooing is ‘illegal’, but it is more so that it is seen as something only to be done by professionals such as doctors. (Orofino, 2017) So really, it’s just taken more seriously in terms of hygiene than here in Australia and in many other countries. People with tattoos in Korea get a bad rap because they are seen as mischievous and up to no good. Perhaps this is because there are so many gang member associations with tattooing. Because of my conservative background, I was also taught that tattoos were a wreck less and permanent punishment for people who were foolish. So even though my perspective on this matter is quite different, I can still understand why many Koreans still have this mentality.

However, plastic surgery being so popular and normalised was something that was mind-blowing to me! I figured that my parents were not going to cash out thousands of dollars for my plastic surgery transformation, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I mean, why would I go through all of the pain and trauma of plastic surgery when I can download ‘The POCO Camera – Amazing Shooting’ is available on the app store for just $1.49. I really wanted to find out how beautiful I could be according to Korea beauty standards. Unfittingly, this app was a complete scam and did not offer anything but filters (insert unimpressed face -.-). There goes my $1.49! I needed to see why Korean women are so obsessed with the idea of  beauty and by what standards they are measuring this by. So my quest to become a Korean beauty continued and after scrolling through several apps I stumbled across an app called ‘Camera360’. This app was for free and offered everything that I was hoping for it to offer. Effects included filters such as the Western and Korean filter which was very interesting to analyse. I found that the Korean filter gave me a much smaller forehead, pointy chin and small lips, while the Western filter gave me larger eyes, a defined nose and darker eye-bags. I decided to give this app a try and share my results:

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The first image is me as myself, hanging out in my pj’s. This is the ‘Camera360’ after result. As you can see here, I have transformed myself into ‘Min-seo’. (A common Korean name for females) Now I don’t mean to mock this standard of beauty, but I cannot help but be amused! As you can see my eyes are significantly larger and my skin in much fairer. Of course there are many other changes to my face. It is easy to see how many yound women could feel pressured into opting for more permanent changes to their face (and body) when apps like these are so common and when “high school students get handed pamphlets on plastic surgery as they left school”. (BuzzFeed, 2017) This Autoethnographic experience has really opened up my eyes (literally, see above images) to a whole new world. I never knew much about Korea let alone their sandards of beauty and taboo and this experience has been very educational for me. Seeing what other consider beautiful has helped me shape my own understanding in a way that embraces individuality.


BuzzFeed. (2017). I Wasn’t Beautiful Enough To Live In South Korea. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Sep. 2017].


Grace Neutral Explores Korea’s Illegal Beauty Scene. (2016). Directed by G. Neutral. U.K: I.D.


I-d. (2017). what it’s like growing up with korean beauty ideals. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].


Orofino, E. (2017). This Woman’s Story Will Change Your View of Korean Beauty Standards. [online] POPSUGAR Beauty Australia. Available at: [Accessed 8 Sep. 2017].


The Odyssey Online. (2017). Why You Probably Aren’t ‘Attractive’ In South Korea. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sep. 2017].

Korea’s controversial beauty industry.

I have been looking into Korea’s forbidden beauty industry. I’d hate to be cliché and say that as a female I have an interest in beauty but it’s true! I would really like my Autoethnography to be based around something that I have an interest in. On the other hand, it’s important to me that it is also based around something that I have little to no knowledge about. That area would be Korea and Korean culture. I say this with great regret and shame, but the only thing I know about Korea is Korean BBQ. (I know, I know, such a westerner thing to say.) The word ‘forbidden’ alone is just so attractive, am I right? Cosmetic surgery is very normalised in Korea and many young women are gifted nose jobs, botox, double eyelid surgery and other surgical procedures such as fat transplants to the face (to make cheeks look fuller) as their graduation gifts before or after highschool/university.

maxresdefault.jpgAlthough these types of alterations to the face are very common and normalised in Korea, there is one thing that is heavily frowned upon and that is tattoos. After watching a short film by Grace Neutral on YouTube about this industry in Korea, it was shocking to me to find out that there is a very negative connotation towards body ink. There actually aren’t many videos made by Koreans about this topic, and the most popular video I came across was made in the UK. Links are commonly made between individuals with tattoos and gang members. This type of modification to the body is so common in my life and isn’t something that many Australians see as forbidden or illegal. However, in Korea it is just that: illegal. I could not believe this! Young people were shown in the documentary who had tattoos that they had been hiding from their parents for over 10 years because of the fear that their own mother and father would dis-own them. I think that the prejudice towards tattoos is something that I can semi-understand, however the defiant correlation between tattoos and gang members was a concept that was totally absurd to me.  Growing up with a conservative European upbringing, I was always told that tattoos were a silly thing to have done to your body because it’s there forever and you can’t remove it. My grandfather had a very large tattoo of an Eagle holding a flag on his forearm and he would complain about it every day, telling us how much he hated it and wanted to have it removed. Grandad’s tattoo disaster was a result of a drunk night with his friends who thought it would be a brilliant idea to have matching tattoos. It was because of my Grandad that I was sure from a very early age that I would never get a tattoo, and I still haven’t got one. My own reasoning for not having this type of artwork on my body is not a result of prejudice towards people who do. Who knows, maybe one day I will have a sudden urge to get a tattoo of a giant eagle on my forearm. (highly unlikely, but possible.) I can completely appreciate tattoos and I personally see it as beautiful and as an art form. It is a  way that people express themselves. In Korea it’s not illegal to have a tattoo, and it’s not illegal to get a tattoo in the country, but tattooing is considered as an invasive medical procedure only to be conducted by doctors.


In the short film a tattoo artists argues “why would you study for 6 years to be a doctor and then become a tattoo artist?”. The problem with this law is that no one who goes through all the schooling needed to become a doctor is likely to be interested in then practicing tattooing during their off hours. And no self-respecting hospital is going to have a tattoo ward. This also reminds me that tattooing is an art work and should be done by an artist, and surely not all doctors would have this talent. This dilemma is what has led to the illegal tattooing scene is gaining a foothold in the country. The battle to stop associating tattoos with a slacker or with a criminal is an ongoing one. In Asian countries such as Korea, tattooing is linked to being in gangs such as the Yakuza.  It was really shocking to me to discover how underground and frowned upon tattooing is in Korea, yet how normalised plastic surgery is for young women. As I mentioned earlier, my upbringing in Australia has a lot to do with my opinions on this, but I am very eager to discover more about this topic and try to understand the prejudice behind this.


BuzzFeed. (2017). I Wasn’t Beautiful Enough To Live In South Korea. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Sep. 2017].


Grace Neutral Explores Korea’s Illegal Beauty Scene. (2016). Directed by G. Neutral. U.K: I.D.


I-d. (2017). what it’s like growing up with korean beauty ideals. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].


Orofino, E. (2017). This Woman’s Story Will Change Your View of Korean Beauty Standards. [online] POPSUGAR Beauty Australia. Available at: [Accessed 8 Sep. 2017].


The Odyssey Online. (2017). Why You Probably Aren’t ‘Attractive’ In South Korea. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sep. 2017].

Autoethnography, you are foreign to me!

The word Autoethnography is something completely foreign to me, but through a fair amount of research I have finally come to understand what this long word means! Basically, it’s your recount on an experience and how you understand what you are being exposed to. Containing a blend of features that are found in autobiographies and ethnographies, it reports in detail what you are thinking and learning and your thought process during this time that you are experiencing something new. The writer identifies ways that their personal experiences influence the progression of research. Instead of being objective in what we are researching and our findings, we have the opportunity to share personal emotions and ways in which what we have experienced influence our exploration process. It is a much more personal format and displays intimate and one-on-one accounts. A researcher who is to write a autoethnography, will write about thoughts that derive from having a specific cultural identity and being part of a culture. They will then analyse these experiences and uncover how their perception on the topic has been shaped. Something that I personally think would be interesting to conduct and something that writers of Autoethnographies do is comparing and contrasting personal experiences with current research. This will allow readers to understand relevant cultural artefacts and link them to the writers own experience.


Instead of “telling” or recounting experiences, autoethnographies should “show” readers what the writers thoughts and emotions were to create a richer experience for the reader. The use of conversation in showing, enables writers to make procedures appealing and emotionally deep. Autoethnography has been criticised at times for being too hypothetical, and too emotional. Furthermore, in using personal experience, at times autoethnographers are thought to use biased data and be self-absorbed. However, I believe that if done correctly and in an informative way, autoethnographies can allow us to understand that different kinds of people will have very different interpretations of what they study and how they study topics. I generally find that other research types can be dry and do not explore how and why researchers come to certain conclusions about the topics. They are backed up by data and other sources but are very impersonal and detached from the researcher. When looking into topics about culture, I think it is important to get an individual and personal recount. It allows us to have a much more personal insight into the way individuals learn about different cultures and how their personal experiences contribute to their overall exposure and understanding of this.

OMG its Gojira.

When I first heard that we would be watching Godzilla in class I was genuinely excited to finally see the film after only ever hearing about it. As a child my family and I frequently travelled to Asia, so I have always had an interest in Asian culture. Now that I am learning Mandarin at university, I am trying to watch films in Chinese and I have exposed myself to a whole new world of Asian media that I never knew prior to my studies in Mandarin. I visited Japan for the first time when I was 17 but I never came across anything to do with Godzilla! As a child I had first heard of Godzilla through Toy Story when the dinosaur character ‘Rex’ mentioned the beast in a brief scene; and also in the Austin Powers ‘Goldmember’ movie where there is a scene when Japanese civilians screech in terror at the sight of a pre-jurassic creature.


Throughout the screening of the film, there were times that I found the film to be very boring and all I could think about was ‘When will it end..” (sorry). I found many of the scenes very dramatic and over the top which was surprisingly entertaining to me. Especially the scene where Serizawa shows Emiko his experiment and she becomes mortified. She proceeds to cover her face and cry hysterically (my favourite part of the whole movie!). The music and sounds effects were very effective and I thought that they did a good job at building suspence especially in the scenes where Gojira reveals himself. The film raises awareness against atomic testing and the use of atomic weapons and I think that Godzilla is culturally identified as a strong metaphor for nuclear weapons.9d13deeb3680533fbb9d1a87f1cdd5ee--funny-things-funny-stuff.jpg

There were many unnecessary scenes that didn’t add anything to the overall plot, however I enjoyed the story line and thought that is was very relevant for the time period considering it was post WW2 and the aftermath of the war was significantly evident. The whole idea that man had created the atomic bomb and now nature was going to take revenge on all of mankind was something that I enjoyed as an anti-war advocate. I really appreciated all of the special effects especially for the time period. I actually got curious and found my self in the deep web trying to figure out how they created and filmed Godzilla himself. In all honesty I don’t think I would have watched a 1954 black and white Japanese movie in my own time, so I’m really glad that I watched it in class where I had no choice but to!

V is for, Ven-det mask coming off?

Admit it, we’ve all done it. Carefully selecting the perfect Instagram filter, getting just the right pose and going on scenic adventures just to get a good Insta pic. We pick and choose every element of our online presence whether it be intentional or unintentional. This selection and way of presenting ourselves is our online persona, and we show the world only what we want them to see. Masks generally have negative connotations, concealing our true nature and aiding us to be someone we are not. The film “V for Vendetta” for example, shows us that masks can liberate and aid us to fight against oppression. In that scenario, masks are not negative thing at all, instead they provide the courage and identity needed to defend a society in crisis.


The word persona itself derives from the Greek word “prosōpon” meaning face or mask. So it’s safe to say that our personas are in fact our masks. Not to say that the mask isn’t the real you, but it projects what you want your audience to see as the real you. The fiters, touch-ups, makeup, clothing are all things that we use to change our appearances in hopes to change other people perceptions of us. Although I mentioned that our mask/persona can be a positive tool, I personally believe that we are trapped in a world that values how awesome of a person you are by the number of Instagram followers we have.


The duck-face phase and doggy-filter uploads to Instagram are a thing of the past (at least for me) and I am now one of those boring Instagram users whose profile is on private, only uploading once a week (sometimes less) with pictures of views, family and friends (the occasional selfie of course) and our family dog. I’d rather be boring than pretentious and I am all for being natural and true to myself. But if you think about it, even that is my online persona. I still select which images I want my friends to see. I don’t take pictures of my-self doing boring things like applying pimple cream to my face while waiting for the iron to turn on; instead, I upload pictures of myself on a tropical getaway on Waikiki beach.

I realise that the term ‘mask’ seems a little dramatic and that it has negative connotations, but I honestly believe that technology and social media is trapping and luring users into a pretentious world and giving people false impressions of what life really is about. Yeah sure, some people can really use their photoshopped bikini snaps and full faces of makeup to their advantage, but its not real life and I assure you those people do not ‘wake up like that’! The online galaxy has great powers of bringing people from all over the world together and connecting us, but how can we distinguish between who we actually are and who we want the world to see?

Iphone vs. Android

When I first heard of the phrase ‘hardware platform’ I immediately thought of a big box for a computer hardware on a platform. Don’t laugh, I’m not tech savy! What it really is, is a set of compatible hardware on which software applications can be run. Programs must be built specifically for a platform that involves a standardized type of processor and associated hardware pieces. For example, Instagram announced that they will be making an app for Android smartphones which is an example of convergent media platforms favouring generative platforms as opposed to locked appliances. This is because it enables apps such as Instagram to widen their market share over other applications.


The IOS operating system that Iphones have is called a closed or locked system, which means that the user of the phone does not have the ability to customise and change things. This is a factor that many phone buyers consider and may be a reason for people to not choose IOS systems.

However this locked system gives some consumers (such as myself) a sense of comfort, knowing that there isn’t really too much than can be fiddled around or tampered with!

after-having-an-iphone-since-day-then-recently-switching-to-an-android-phone-22230.jpgAndroids on the other hand are open and unrestricted
and you can change almost anything according to your needs. I personally have always preferred Iphones over Android because of how easy they are to navigate but I can understand why people don’t like the limited adaptability of it.