Individual Digital Artefact: @linhdoesjapan_

The individual research project practices autoethnography by allowing us to document personal experiences of a particular culture, different to my own and brings further research to allow social, cultural and political understandings of the experience (Ellis, 2011). By personally travelling to Japan and visiting Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo, I was able to document my experience, incorporating myself in the culture that generated comparisons to my own culture which brought perceptions of Japan that assisted in enabling a better understanding of the society. From previous perceptions of Japan through media exposure, expectations were made in terms of its culture and heritage as well as social aspects. However, when travelling through Japan these perceptions were significantly different to what was expected, therefore demonstrating my own personal culture interfering with the present experience.

My own previous perceptions of Japan were generated due to media exposure, especially through anime, such as Pokémon and Sailor Moon. Others would be through movies such as Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift which was completely set in Tokyo. Scenes were mostly of lively cities with tall, illuminated buildings and lights that filled the streets. With this image of Tokyo set, a bright, busy city was expected and impacted on my overall perception of Japan. When actually visiting Tokyo, I was faced with quiet, clean roads with little foot traffic and minimal transportation machinery. Japan is also known for being highly technological and predominately focuses on consumer electronics and auto motives. This assumption brought high expectations for Japan to be modernised and advanced. Although this was met at times, it was also surprising to see older buildings, architecture and cars. Most technological advancements that were faced through day to day occurrences were the use of vending machines and touch screens when personally ordering your food, which is rare in Australia.

Through research, I later realised that many tourism images of Japan’s lively nightlife were taken of popular tourist destinations that are known to be busier such as Dontonburi and the Shibuya Crossing that were filled with restaurants, bars, street food and shopping.

Japanese food in Australia is mainly presented as Sushi with little other varieties. Sushi is even westernised with early influences from America such as the avocado and California roll (Sakamoto & Allen, 2011). Rice on the outside of sushi was also a western creation to cater to those that didn’t like the outer seaweed texture- which is what we mainly see in sushi establishments in Australia (Warren, 2013). With this westernised sushi that I had grown to enjoy, traditional sushi in Japan was far better than expected. Rather than rolls, most sushi was presented as nigiri and were raw fish with various types and cuts that aren’t presented in western culture. This is due to the norms of westernised culture in which we are comfortable in consuming. Many find raw fish hard to consume due to the texture as well as the state of the fish, however having raw fish is very common in Japan. The price also influences the fresh state of raw fish in Australia where most restaurants may be freezing their raw fish before defrosting and serving; whereas due to its cheap and easy availability in Japan, it’s fresh and of high quality (Korpesio, 2012). In western restaurants, wasabi is optional with soy sauce; whereas in Japan readily served in the sushi depending on the chefs eating recommendations- thus making the experience authentic and makes one question the heavily westernised Japanese in Australia.

When consuming Japanese dishes, Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki, I was able to taste distinct flavours that aren’t apparent in Japanese foods available in Australia. However, being from a Vietnamese background, comparison to Banh Xeo (Vietnamese savoury pancake) and Fish Balls was made. Pancakes in western cultures are generally sweet and have toppings poured on top, thus savoury pancakes are very strange. Okonomiyaki is a pancake/ omelette with batter as well as meats, vegetables and sauces and is cooked in front of you to be eaten hot and fresh. Thus, due to my own Vietnamese background, I was able to find familiarity between the savoury Vietnamese pancake that was enjoyed from childhood to the infamous Japanese Okonomiyaki.

Walking through temples and shrines, many tourists as well as locals were wearing the traditional garment, the Kimono. The traditional gown was worn daily, but due to the Meiji Restoration in 1868, westernisation of their daily lifestyles spread throughout Japan. The Kimono is now worn during important festivals and formal occasions as a sign of politeness and formalities. Women are mostly seen wearing kimono’s compared to men when going to temples and shrines to give thanks for good health and life (Funabiki, 2014). The term, Kimono is familiar to those in western cultures due to it being used to describe any form of silk dressing gown or oriental style frock that is adapted from the traditional garment. Its westernisation means it’s worn in more relaxed settings or casually or as a bath robe and is very different to the original. The westernisation of the Kimono that we are exposed to allows awareness and identification of the gown as a traditional Japanese dress and highlights the key points by infusing the oriental patterns and silk common to Kimonos as well as other Asian traditional gowns.

The ‘Kimono Gown’ available in Australian clothing retailers (Cotton On Body)

By incorporating ourselves into a culture and society other than your own and further gain social, cultural and political understanding, thus expanding on our previous knowledge of the social norms and values presented in Japanese culture. With further research and reflective analysis of my travels through Japan, I was able to make sense of the culture by comparing it to my own, thus having my own culture and perceptions of Japan evidently influence my experience. Exploring Japan and its social and cultural norms has allowed a better understanding and challenged assumptions of the world.




Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. 2011 ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1

Funabiki. T, 2014, ‘The mysteries of the Kimono’ in TimeOut Tokyo. visited 26/10

‘Kimono Gown’, Cotton on Body

Korpesio. K, 2012 ‘Japanese Culture in Australia’ in AGFG. visited 26/10

Sakamoto. R, Allen. M, 2011, ‘There’s something fishy about that sushi: how Japan interprets the global sushi boom’ Japan Forum, 23:1, pp.100- 102

Smith, R. 2014, ‘World Pancake Recipe: Okonomiyaki from Japan’ visited 26/10

Warren, 2013, ‘The Difference between authentic Japanese sushi and sushi around the world’ in visited 26/10





Digital Asia

Korean Pop

Korean Pop, otherwise known as K-Pop, is a multi-billion-dollar industry and the hub of music in Korea. Given the nickname ‘Hallyu’, K-Pop as an industry is highly regarded as the ‘Hollywood’ of Asia. As a result of social media platforms, K-Pop and its artists have become household names within a widespread Korean diaspora. By being readily accessible on a number of platforms — most notably YouTube, K-Pop has successfully transgressed former boundaries and borders, reaching audiences on a large scale. It is often noted that the industry specifically tailors its music and artists to reach Western audiences, as Dr. Roald Maliangkayadds “marketing to non-Koreans” is a norm. The K-Pop genre is distinctly characterised by its embodiment of audiovisual elements and often incorporates several stylistic elements including that of dance-pop, electropop and R&B.

Sistar is a South Korean girl group established in 2010 under the…

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‘We don’t play games for fun, we mostly play for work’

Digital Asia

Starting DIGC330, I didn’t know what to expect, but the first few weeks of it have definitely met and well exceeded my expectations. Our topic, autoethnography was something unfamiliar and unheard of but after looking into it, it helps put a name to the method that allows us to understand cultural experiences. According to Ellis, it is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. (Ellis, 2004; Holman Jones, 2005).

From this reading, I understand that it is qualitative research in which one gathers through personal experiences from being a part of a particular culture then assessing it and allowing further cultural and social meaning and understanding.

This week’s text, ‘State of Play (2013)’ was a particular interest due to my own in depth knowledge about South Korea and it’s culture (and because I…

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Finishing off one assessment, means starting another, and this last blog post essentially will be about the next BCM 210 assessments involving surveys, interviews and research reports. Basically my group is researching about how the media influences what films we watch. We were fascinated to see how posts from social media such as a friends Facebook status or a simple tweet might affect ones decision to watch/not watch a movie. We also intend to research how movie reviews and online critiques may impact that decision.

The following survey was just a few ideas we had in mind, but there is definitely room for improvements, but you kind of get the whole idea of what we’re trying to ask.

Gender: F

Who do you usually watch movies with?

Friends and Family

How do you watch films?

I usually watch films in cinemas. However, if they are older I download them online, or stream them.

Does the media influence your decision to watch a film? Eg. Social media, newspaper etc.

Media generally doesn’t heavily influence what films I watch. However, there are exceptions.

Do you read film reviews?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Always


Does a negative review effect your decision to watch a film?

No a negative review doesn’t affect my decision.

How often are you to share on social media that you are watching/ watched a film?


Film reviews determine what movies I watch.

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree


Are you most likely to watch a movie due to:

  • Recommendations of family/ friend
  • Online critics
  • Newspaper reviews
  • Movie promotions
  • Box office results


The open ended questions may result in difficult analysis of the qualitative data, however both quantitative data and qualitative data allows various interpretations as well as statistical information. Improving the current survey questions might include having more precise questions and choices as well as questions that are provide depth.

Creating survey questions was much more difficult than expected due to the special considerations needed when making questions up. Often, creating questions and ideas was easy, but wording them appropriately was where it was difficult.

iPhone should be by your side during tests and assignments?

Research from the University of Missouri has linked iPhone separation to physiological anxiety and poor cognitive performance; which honestly doesn’t take me by surprise. The advances in technology have definitely made an impact in users’ lifestyles, physically, socially and psychologically and seem to be the blame for everything. Electronic devices, especially mobile phones have become a common part of everyday life to communicate. We can all say that we basically can’t live without our phones… metaphorically that is. Some may even say they have ‘withdrawal issues’ when it is taken from them.

The research has found that ‘cell phone separation have serious psychological and physiological effects on iPhone users, including poor performance on cognitive tests’. Researchers even suggest that during situations where attention is essential, such as during exams, completing assignments and during work; users should avoid parting with their iPhones (Hurst 2015).

‘The results from our study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of ourselves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of ‘self’ and a negative physiological state’. – Russel Clayton (lead author of the study)

The article continues to describe the various experiments conducted with or without an iPhone and further establishes the difference and reactions between the two. The first experiment included an individual completing a puzzle without their iPhone by their side while their heart rate, blood pressure and levels of anxiety were recorded. Once their iPhones were called and were finished ringing, another collection of the heart rate etc. were monitored and recorded. Therefore, researchers found a decrease in puzzle performance when participants were separated from their phones. Participants were told that the purpose of the experiment was to ‘test the reliability of a new wireless blood pressure cuff’. This ensures that participants’ results aren’t influenced by the general idea.

As the article is written as a news release, the article is simply just providing facts and statements rather than complete details with evidence of results. Therefore the author is a reporter, not an administrator of the experimental study and the article may be aimed at students or just the general public that may be interested on the results of the study.

The method used to precede the study may be questionable as when the phone was separated from the participant; it rang, thus making the individual feel anxious; simply because he was curious to the importance of the call or who it could be and was distracted. Would the individual still have the same results if the phone didn’t ring? Or if they couldn’t hear it ring? Therefore, the validation of the findings may be questionable. Think about it, if you were at home and your home phone had rung, wouldn’t you quickly go to the phone to pick it up?


Clayton, R., Leshner, G. and Almond, A. (2015). The Extended iSelf: The Impact of iPhone Separation on Cognition, Emotion, and Physiology. J Comput-Mediat Comm, 20(2), pp.119-135.

Hurst, N. (2015). iPhone Separation Linked to Physiological Anxiety, Poor Cognitive Performance, MU Study Finds. [online]  [Accessed 11 Apr. 2015].


When people think of ethics, they think about rules that distinguish between right and wrong; rules that are learnt through childhood and come as ‘common sense’. However, even with simple common sense, ethical issues and conflicts still occur, both in past and present society. Although everyone may recognise the right or wrong thing to do, various individuals may have different ideas to apply the morals in several ways, depending on their own life experiences and values. In research, ethics is ensured by researches to ‘do the right thing by the project, its participants and society at large’ (Weerakkody, 2008). Formal ethic guidelines were created by many different professional associations, government agencies and universities; providing rules and policies for researches to follow and ensure consistency in ethical behaviours and standards as well as the protection of all relevant parties involved.

Throughout history, ethical issues arose due to medical research and experiments such as the Stanford Prison Experiment, the Nuremberg Code, the Nazis and the Tuskagee Syphilis Experiment. Dr Wendell Johnson and Mary Tudor conducted a research study in late 1930s, ‘Monster Study’ to prove his hypothesis that stuttering was a learned behaviour. They recruited twelve orphan children, ranging from 5 to 15, who were non-stutters and split them into two groups. One group would be frequently told that they were stuttering and was put down for every speech imperfection and needed to fix it while the other group was praised for their fluency and was told they didn’t stutter. The research found that the negatively experimented group didn’t result in stuttering, however become extremely reserved and conscious to speak. Although it didn’t support the general hypothesis, it showed that ‘evaluated labelling can influence behaviour’ (Tudor 1939).

Although at the time, ethical laws weren’t exactly identified; many controversial issues of the study were discussed since it was conducted. The greed and curiosity of the researchers brought unethical reasoning and standards to the experiment. The use of readily available orphan children due to the vulnerability and easy deception was an extremely ethical issue as the study affected their speech performance for the rest of their lives. The young children had no idea they were being used like ‘lab rats’ and had no consent whatsoever. Due to the unexpected turn out, results weren’t published in any scientific journal and nothing was made out of the study.

The unpublished results may question Dr Johnson’s reasoning as to why he didn’t publish the negative outcome. Was it because he was afraid it would impact his image as a respected and famous psychologist? Therefore we can question his motives and ethical values and morals. The study went for so long that people involved were believed to struggle to remember exact details. So basically, you can imagine how tormenting it was for those young children who grew up having speech problems because of the study. The ‘Monster Study’ is an extreme example of past ethical issues in research and demonstrates why ethics is so important in the welfare of everything and everyone involved. Its studies like this that changed the ethical research today and altered the moral principles.

References: B, D. (2011). What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important?. [online]  [Accessed 8 Apr. 2015]. Rahul, G. (2013). The “Monster” study – Author:Rahul Goel. [online] Ethics in Science.  [Accessed 8 Apr. 2015]. Reynolds, G. (2015). The Stuttering Doctor’s ‘Monster Study’. [online]  [Accessed 8 Apr. 2015]. Silverman, F. (1988). The “monster” study. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 13(3), pp.225-231. Vaci, G. and Thorson, E. (2015). The Who, What, When and Where of the “Monster” Study. [online] [Accessed 8 Apr. 2015]. Weerakkody, Niranjala Damayanthi 2008, ‘Research ethics in media and communication’, in Research methods for media and communications, Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand, South Melbourne, Vic., pp. 73-91

Does music television effect teenagers’ sexual behaviours?

Music videos generally have some sort of sexually explicit content which have received constant criticism overtime. Growing up, music videos by American artists would play almost all day, every day on programs such as ‘rage’ or ‘MTV’; and they still do. However, back then sexual images were rare or mild in comparison to popular music videos now that usually contain content that ‘objectify women and promote recreational views of sexual activities’ (Heidelberg. 2015. They are extremely erotic and contain both male and female role models and celebrity figures engaging in sexual behaviours.

Examples of self- sexualisation of female artists in music videos

Frison, Eline is a PhD student at the Leuven School for Mass Communication research who specifically investigates the relationship between social networks and mass media and its effects in adolescence. Frison has written various texts and articles, containing her studies on adolescence. ‘Reciprocal Relationships between Music Television Exposure and Adolescents’ sexual behaviours written by Frison, E. et al (2015), describes a research conducted at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Its objective was to identify the ‘reciprocal relationship between music television exposure and sexual behaviours by exploring the mediating role of perceived peer norms’. The article consisted of the methods, hypothesis and conclusion all under titles to ensure easy navigation and flow. All findings and descriptive statistics were demonstrated in tables and patterns were identified to describe evidence of the final results. An appendix was added with the complete survey conducted, to understand all questions asked and how the survey was set out.

They gathered information from 515 Belgian teenagers between 12 and 15 years old and questioned how much music television they watched, how sexually active they were and how sexually active they thought their peers were. The study was conducted over a year with 6 month intervals to consider development changes during adolescence with ages from 12- 15 as this age was described as being ‘the most likely time for adversarial consequences when initiating sexual behaviours’. Survey data was collected from nine schools in Belgium all situated at various places. Student weren’t allowed to discuss or share answers due to confidentiality and were surveyed through 7-point scale ranges and yes or no questions.

Results were found through averages, scores and tally points that came to the conclusion that sexual music videos only affected the behaviour of boys. This made sense as ‘music videos tend to show males taking the active role in sexual interactions’ (Heidelberg 2015). Both girls and boys thought peers where also sexually active, which made boys watch even more music television.

The final conclusion and findings was reinforced at the end of the article to ensure understanding and clear objectives to the results. “Regarding the influence of music television exposure on sexual behaviour, our findings suggest that increased sexual activities may be triggered by media use among boys, but not among girls. As the portrayal of women as objects of lust reflects patriarchal values, media images that support this type of male dominance may provoke resistance in female viewers. This is especially valid among those who view such activity as a threat because of the high sexual activity rates of male peers.” (Frison et. Al, 2015).


Frison, E., Vandenbosch, L., Trekels, J. and Eggermont, S. (2015). Reciprocal Relationships Between Music Television Exposure and Adolescents’ Sexual Behaviors: The Role of Perceived Peer Norms.Sex Roles, 72(5-6), pp.183-197.

Heidelberg (2015) ‘What Effect does music TV have on the sexual behaviour of teenage boys and girls?’—/55270 [visited 2 Apr. 2015]

The Self-Sexualisation (Self-Objectification) of Female Music Artists. (2015). Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2015].

Vandenbosch, L. and Frison, E. (2015). Eline Frison | KU Leuven – University of Leuven – [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2015].