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Crowdsourcing Global Culture: Visual Representation in the Age of Information

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Crowdsourcing Global Culture: Visual Representation in the Age of Information

McMaster, Scott R. (2016) Crowdsourcing Global Culture: Visual Representation in the Age of Information. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This doctoral dissertation extends existing frameworks of visual content analysis by coupling them with crowdsourcing technologies for international data collection and an iterative, interpretative visual analysis. In the age of information, imagery continues to be consumed and circulated at exponential rates, influencing and changing global flows of information that parallels Internet communication technology as it penetrates and gains ubiquity in new regions. To investigate the visual, media, and cultural phenomena that lie within these globalized pictorial exchanges, a flexible, visually-based inquiry is essential. This qualitative, visual-ethnographic survey was conducted over the Internet and aims to help inform visually-based literacy and media studies and further image-based research methodologies. The researcher collected over 2000 drawings from 61 countries diverse in geography and culture. The researcher revealed fresh insights into the visual-textual relationship, identity, and representation in a globalized context, specifically looking at emergent tensions between local and global ways of interpretation and meaning construction online. The researcher also considers the effects of a technologically mediated visual culture and its potential to influence or change deeply ingrained ideas once specific to geography and culture into new global trends and evolving material practices. The analysis is centred on a selection of drawings from 106 Asian participants who drew intercultural representations of the words meal, marriage, and home. The most striking discoveries indicate varying degrees of homogeneity and hybridity among the visual cultural representations received and reveals connections among language, the Internet, advertising, and identity. The findings break with more traditional views of globalization occurring in a direct West-East flow and highlight regional powers that can serve as cultural hubs of attention. These hubs act as filters, possibly creating and hybridizing new commercial and cultural trends and positioning themselves as beacons of modernity with considerable visual cultural influence. The researcher also makes suggestions for future studies using an extended multimedia visual methodology as well as the potential inherent in emerging technologies for exploring phenomena in artistic, educative, and academic contexts.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:McMaster, Scott R.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Art Education
Date:1 September 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Castro, Juan Carlos
ID Code:981918
Deposited By: SCOTT MCMASTER
Deposited On:09 Nov 2016 13:50
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54
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