‘Respect our food rights’ – CARE campaign

Bangla_food_01The “Respect Our Food Rights” Campaign was launched by CARE on the 11th of June, 2015, based on collaborative research conducted with an advisory board of Bangladeshi migrant construction workers and HealthServe, an NGO that serves the health needs of migrant workers. The ongoing campaign was designed and co-constructed by an advisory board of Bangladeshi construction workers. The central theme of the campaign is to shed light and raise awareness regarding access to decent and quality food for migrant construction workers (MCWs) in Singapore, and it generated considerable media coverage in The Straits Times, Today Paper, and online blogs.

Sixty five MCWs collaborated with a research team by lending their voices to tell stories of poor quality food being provided to them by catering companies. A survey, conducted with 500 Bangladeshi workers, documented the state of inaccess to quality, hygienic and health food experienced by the workers. Survey responses also point toward the potential solutions desired by the workers, including: Greater monitoring and enforcement of food safety standards for male migrant workers. Particularly important are the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of food delivered by caterers.

The effort included a mass media campaign comprising bus and MRT adverts, TVC ads, a dedicated website, social media outreach and a 12-minute long documentary film, “Respect Our Food Rights”, featuring the lives and stories of Bangladeshi migrant construction workers living in Singapore. These are stories of disappointment, expectation and aspiration. Co-constructed by the voices of the MCWs, the documentary ends by encouraging Singaporeans to advocate for better food access for the invisible backbone of the Singaporean construction sector.

The campaign is aimed at raising awareness on the specific issues of poor food quality faced by MCWs employed in Singapore. Guided by the culture-centered approach (CCA) pioneered by Prof. Mohan Dutta, the workers were central to the decision making processes in framing core messages and helping to design the above mentioned collaterals.

This is CARE’s second ethnographic documentary film which follows the success of the “Respect Our Rights” campaign co-created in collaboration with Foreign Domestic Workers: www.respectfdwrights.com Both projects are guided by key principles of the CCA method, where subaltern communities are their own problem configurators and solution providers. CARE, in partnership with HealthServe, has helped to co-create environments where the migrant construction workers can come together to develop solutions to problems during their employment stints in Singapore.

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One of the ads created as part of the campaign

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations, to our FASS Excellent Teacher Award Winners!

We congratulate Asst Prof Leanne Chang and Dr Tracy Loh on winning the FASS Excellent Teaching Award for AY 2014/2015. The faculty award is given to faculty members to recognise their high level of commitment to teaching. The winners are chosen based on peer reviews, student feedback and exposition of their teaching philosophy.

Thank you Asst Prof Leanne Chang and Dr Tracy Loh for all your hard work and contributions to the department.

Corporate-slider---FASS-Award-Winners

Research Talk – When Postcolonial Studies Meets Media Studies

This talk addresses 1) how postcolonial studies might inform and enrich media studies, especially as the latter is situated in the Communication discipline and 2) how media studies may productively expand the terrain postcolonial studies, that thus far has been dominated by the fields of Literature and Comparative Literature.  Focusing on, and challenging, issues such as the North Atlantic temporal logics that inform the received history of media studies, as well as contesting the narrow boundaries of literary studies for engaging in contemporary postcolonial media/ted cultures, this talk attempts to argue for the importance of postcolonial media studies.

About the Speaker:

Raka Shome - Flyer CroppedDr. Raka Shome writes on postcolonial cultures, transnational feminism, and media/communication cultures.  Her current research interests are in Asian Modernities, Transnational relations of India, Racism and Media in a global context, Transnational Media Cultures and Gender, and the Transnational politics of knowledge production as a communication issue. Dr. Shome has published numerous articles and book chapters in leading journals and anthologies in the field of Media and Communication Studies .  She is the author of Diana and Beyond: White Femininity, National Identity, and Contemporary Media Culture (University of Illinois Press, 2014)—a book that examines how new sets of postcolonial relations in contemporary western cultures are mediated through images of white femininity. Under her co-guest editorship, the first-ever special issue on “Postcolonialism” was published in the field of Communication Studies in the International Communication Association journal Communication Theory (August, 2002).  She recently also guest edited a special issue on “Asian Modernities” (2012) in the (Sage) journal Global Media and Communication, which included several articles focused on the question of what it means to be “modern” outside of liberal western frameworks.  She is finishing up another special issue as guest editor for Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies  journal on ‘Gender, Nation, Colonialism: Twenty first century connections.

Date: 28 Oct 2015

Time: 3.00 PM

Venue: AS6, #03-33, CNM Meeting Room

Got book or not? – Initiative by CNM Students

We are12088554_191954337816838_8362899815827417079_n pleased to introduce the ‘Got Book or Not?’ campaign. This is an initiative by a group of CNM students in collaboration with the Nation University Hospital (NUH). The campaign aims to engage patients who are recuperating in NUH, by offering them lifestyle magazines and books to read. As a large number of the patients are elderly, magazines and books in Mother Tongue languages are encouraged.

You can be a part of this campaign by contributing magazines and books. A collection booth will be set up on 27th and 30th October 2015 at the NUS AS6 walkway (outside Central Library) from 11am – 6pm. Along with your book donations, you can also jot down notes of encouragement to the patients.

To know more about the initiative or about the donation drive, visit the campaign page at https://www.facebook.com/gotbookornot

Research Talk – Social affordances: Design experiments to motivate online prosocial behavior

In a 2006 essay titled “Commons-based Peer Production and Virtue”, Yochai Benkler and Helen Nissenbaum make the claim that participation in online social spaces potentially enables more people to adopt prosocial virtues as their own, and as a result become more moral individuals. This claim highlights one of the main goals of this proposed project; to better understand how the design of online spaces can be used motivate/encourage prosocial behavior in online environments. In this ongoing project, we describe the motivation, study designs and experimental platform to be used for a series of design experiments that we are about to carry out in the coming month. Specifically, this project will investigate the use of Social Translucency – a stance towards the design of online social environments that affords awareness and accountability (Erickson & Kellogg, 2000). In face-to-face interactions, our behavior is governed by social cues that we can gather from the environment and from others. However, in a technologically-mediated environment such as the Internet, these social cues are often non-existent or poorly represented. Social translucency is an attempt to provide users with social cues for appropriate behavior through three main principles:

(i) visibility

(ii) awareness

(iii) accountability

We situate our study of social translucency in the context of the Singapore Memory Project (SMP), a web portal which aims to collect at least 5 million digital contributions, in the form of photos, videos and narratives, from Singaporeans by 2015. However, for a variety of reasons, SMP has been having difficulty with getting Singaporeans to share their digital memories. This presentation will showcase our experimental platform, which is currently still in development. Through this platform, we aim to test the following social cues to make socially translucent:

– Collective Identity

– Social Currency/Norms

Through this study we hope to provide evidence to develop theoretical frameworks about the influential technical attributes and social dynamics of online prosociality. This knowledge will aid in our understanding of how individual user behavior on the Internet can be encouraged and sustained through the design and architecture of social software applications. Ultimately this project will develop a set of innovative and generalizable principles for how to encourage participation, contribution and collaboration through the use of system design and social dynamics.

About the Speaker:

JudeYew2011ProfileJude Yew is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore. He joined CNM in 2012 after finishing a Ph.D. and Postdoc at the University of Michigan. His research is focused on studying and designing social computing systems that encourage prosocial behavior. Specifically, he is interested in understanding, modeling, predicting, and designing for prosocial human behavior within sociotechnical systems. His previous work has examined and designed environments for large scale scientific collaboration, the use of social tagging in learning, and the sharing and reuse of user-generated content in online communities. I’ve received funding from the NSF, NUS and the Keio-NUS CUTE Center for this work.

Date: 14 Oct 2015

Time: 3.00 PM

Venue: AS6, #03-33, CNM Meeting Room

Workshop by Prof Raka Shome – Postcolonial Approaches to Communication & Social Justice

We have another workshop coming up from the 19th to 21st of October! Dr Raka Shome, who recently joined the CNM Department as a Visiting Senior Fellow, will be conducting the 3-day workshop to share her views on Postcolonial Studies. Please refer to the poster below for more information about the workshop. If you are interested to join us, please indicate your attendance by signing up for this workshop here!

*Do take note that the readings for this workshop could be retrieved from the Library.

 

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Here is a little bit about Dr Raka Shome:

Dr. Raka Shome writes on postcolonial cultures, transnational feminism, and media/communication cultures.  Her current research interests are in Asian Modernities, Transnational relations of India, Racism and Media in a global context, Transnational Media Cultures and Gender, and the Transnational politics of knowledge production as a communication issue. Dr. Shome has published numerous articles and book chapters in leading journals and anthologies in the field of Media and Communication Studies .  She is the author of Diana and Beyond: White Femininity, National Identity, and Contemporary Media Culture (University of Illinois Press, 2014)—a book that examines how new sets of postcolonial relations in contemporary western cultures are mediated through images of white femininity. Under her co-guest editorship, the first-ever special issue on “Postcolonialism” was published in the field of Communication Studies in the International Communication Association journal Communication Theory (August, 2002).  She recently also guest edited a special issue on “Asian Modernities” (2012) in the (Sage) journal Global Media and Communication, which included several articles focused on the question of what it means to be “modern” outside of liberal western frameworks.  She is finishing up another special issue as guest editor for Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies  journal on ‘Gender, Nation, Colonialism: Twenty first century connections.

Written & designed by Abdul Rahman, CARE

Research Talk – Between Multiple Opinion Climates, Individual Predisposition, and Cultural Variables: Experiment on individuals’ likelihood to express issue opinions on website forums and social media

The spiral of silence (SOS) posits individuals’ refusal to speak out on contentious issues when majority opinion on the issues are seen or perceived to be against theirs. Despite decades of work, researchers basing their studies on the theory continue to grapple with the multifaceted factors that would inhibit one’s personal opinion expression on an otherwise democratic online environment. This impetus heightens when, over time, the ‘silence’ builds up to create false consensual perceptions on public issues where opinions of the ‘vocal minority’ dominate those of the ‘silent majority.’ This talk presents findings from a scenario-based 2 x 2 factorial experiment involving undergraduates (N = 298) designed to examine the effects of opinion congruency with different opinion climate indicators in online news site (opinion poll v. forum comments) on individual’s likelihood to express personal opinions across different online platforms (website-based forums v. social media, i.e., Facebook) on a contentious issue (setting up of homosexual-based student group on campus). On top of individual predisposition toward homosexuality (personal involvement and opinion intensity, attitude and acceptance of homosexual groups and organizations) and toward public discussion participation (dispositional shyness, outspokenness, fear of social isolation), culturally situated communicatory variables (non-confrontational strategies, solution-oriented strategies, responsible speech, law breaking avoidance, fear of authority) were measured to provide a more precise analysis of the online SOS effect in Singapore’s context.

About the Speaker

elmie_pic222editedElmie Nekmat is assistant professor in Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore, joining the faculty in 2014 after a one year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He obtained his Ph.D. in communication and information sciences with an interdisciplinary minor in educational and social psychology from the University of Alabama, where he received the 2013 Knox Hagood Doctoral Student Award. Elmie studies media effects and the social-psychological processes and effects of online communication on public opinion, collective action, and strategic communication. He also researches media literacy, with emphases on parental mediation and literacies pertaining to new media technologies. His research has been published and is forthcoming in publications that include Communication Research, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Information, Communication and Society, Computers in Human Behavior, and the International Journal of Strategic Communication.

Date: 07 Oct 2015

Time: 3.00 PM

Venue: AS6, #03-33, CNM Meeting Room

CNM welcomes Prof Teresa L. Thompson from University of Dayton

CNMTeresa Thompson welcomes Prof Teresa L. Thompson. She is a Professor of Communication at the University of Dayton in the United States. Her areas of interest include Ethics in Provider- Patient Interaction, Organ Donation, Health Communication an coping with bereavement, Disability and Communication, Death and Dying and Gender Issues. She has authored/edited eight books and has around 70 scholarly articles including Human Communication Research, Public Opinion Quarterly, Journal of Applied Communication and Research and Social Science and Medicine. She has also served as the editor of Health Communication for over 20 years.  She was the 2009 National Communication Association Health Communication Scholar of the Year and has won both the University-wide Alumni Award in Teaching, as well as the College of Arts and Science Scholar of Year Award at the University of Dayton.

Prof Thomspon will be with the CNM until 9 Oct 2015. During this time she will hold a 3-day workshop on Health Communication: Interdisciplinary, Multidisciplinary & Transdisciplinary Conversations from 5th Oct – 7th Oct 2015 and a research talk titled ‘Hope and the Act of Informed Dialogue: A Delicate Balance at End of Life’ on 8th Oct 2015. Details of the workshop can be found here and the research talk here.

[CNM-CARE Workshop] Professor Teresa Thompson

Professor Teresa Thompson from the University of Dayton will be joining us for a week and she will be conducting a 3-day workshop on Health Communication. You can find out more about Prof. Teresa through her bio here. More information about the workshop can be found in the poster below. Should you be interested to participate in this exciting workshop, please register your attendance through this form. See you there!

Teri-Thompson-Workshop1*Text and image by Abdul Rahman, CARE