Body Unbounded

Abstract: This article examines the intersection of media and communication technologies and the material body in perpetuating the normative materiality of the healthy individual body. A long-standing, conventional focus in public health defines the individual subject (its focus of attention and intervention) as a skin-bound, self-contained body analogous in many ways to the liberal, Enlightenment subject and conventional conceptions of communication as message transmission. Thus, the individualization of public health requires in turn not only the personalization of the usage of media technologies (individual messages directed at individuals with the intention of individual behavioral change), it also puts the onus for successful public-health interventions on individuals and their ability to control themselves and their behaviors. In doing so, such a conception and practice neglects the constitutive nature by which bodies as social productions are produced and addressed. The article concludes that, by addressing bodies/subjects of public health as themselves media and as products of the intersection of conditions, physicalities and culture, greater understanding can emerge of public-health issues and how they might be differently addressed.

Dilemmas of ‘Media’

Abstract: Despite its seeming stability and obviousness, the term “media” deserves critical scrutiny. To critique “media,” this paper historicizes the use of “media” by focusing on the case of alternative/activist media, which presents the dilemmas of “media” in particularly high relief. As posed by “media,” the key criteria for distinguishing the alternative from the mainstream emerged as what kind of machine was used to send messages, or what kind of messages were created. However inadequate these criteria were at the time (and they were), the analytical and practical map produced by “media” has been called into question even more starkly by the advent over the past two decades or so of consumer-grade digital production and distribution as well as the more extensive hybridization of commercial and popular cultural production. By contrast, an historicized conception of practice is in many ways more useful for grasping and specifying varieties and their implications.

Taking the Liberty

Abstract: The justification for statutory copyright protection seems self-evident. Creators of copyrightable works invest substantial time, skill, and capital into the content they create, and therefore should have some legal recourse to pursue if others profit from their works without consent or use them contrary to the author’s original intent. Yet in the more than three hundred year history of copyright law, key issues surrounding authorship, ownership, and public use of creative works continue to persist. This suggests that legal protection alone cannot construct an optimum environment in which creativity can occur, and that the theorization of the nature of creative work is still incomplete. To whit, this article will review the history of copyright’s theorization in its two most prominent paradigms, Lockean classical liberalism and cultural Marxism. Based upon this review, it suggests a third paradigm, ritual economy, as capable of theorizing creative work and its protection more completely.

Ethical Obligations in Risk and Crisis Communication

Abstract: When organizations face times of crisis or need to communicate risk to stakeholders, ethical dilemmas inevitably emerge. Communication must be quick and accurate, but often the attempt to achieve one comes at the expense of the other. Additionally, organizations face obligations of transparency, but to what point? Extensive revelation may at times be as damaging as opacity. The paper discusses the ethical concerns inherent in theories of crisis and risk communication within the context of said practices.

Partner vs. Servant

Abstract: The current research examines the effect of perceived brand role (partner vs. servant) on consumer’s social distance and mental construal toward the brand. Results show that a partner brand leads individuals to have proximal social distance and a low level of construal compared to a servant brand. Moreover, the effect of brand role on social distance is maintained when individuals have a low level of product involvement. However, individuals perceive no difference in social distance between a partner brand and a servant brand when they have high level of product involvement. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.