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Communication Presentations

Presentations are listed in alphabetical order by the presenter's last name.

Cultural Appropriation in K-Pop: Responses from Black American Fans
With over $5 billion of global revenue in 2017 (Kim, 2017), K-pop has become a universal music phenomenon with a significant following of 89 million fans traversing 113 nations (Elfving-Hwang, 2019). Although popular among youth worldwide, this music genre can be controversial for its cultural appropriation (CA) from Black American, Native American, Hispanic/Latinx cultures among others. Often unbeknown to band members and managers, K-pop’s musical elements, lyrics, attire, and general demeanor can be especially offensive to Black American people. This study examines the impact of culturally-borrowed symbols in K-Pop and its performers on Black Americans. By utilizing the theoretical framework of Rogers’ (2006) Cultural Appropriation theory and its categories, this paper investigates ways in which K-pop not only employs CA but also disrespects an entire culture and offends its members. Two types of data was collected—social media comments regarding CA in K-pop by Black American fans as well as in-depth interviews with them. The data analysis will seek answers to the following research questions: 1) how does K-Pop appropriate the Black American culture, and 2) how do Black Americans feel about K-Pop’s CA? To make the findings more reliable, a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative data analysis will be performed. Descriptive statistical analysis of social media comments, collected over a span of five months, will reveal the occurrence and nature of CA according to respondents. A thematic analysis of in-depth interview responses will uncover emerging themes pertaining to Black American’s feelings and reactions toward CA in K-pop. While the strength of globalization connects people and cultures, and makes media accessible to one another, it has the potential to create misunderstandings and contentions. Therefore, this study aims to highlight and make influential people aware of their faux pas pertaining to CA.
Presenter: Brianna Brown / Mentor: Pratibha Kumar, Ph.D.
Swipe Life: The Gender Differences in Online Dating
The world is at the average person’s fingertips because of smartphones. These minicomputers can find vacation rentals, have prescriptions delivere , and now make love connections. However, dating causes different behaviors and result in different experiences for everyone. This paper aims to examine the gender differences of those who use online dating websites and apps. The role of gender plays into many factors that can impact the effectiveness of online dating, including behaviors, mentalities, and many others. Platforms, like Tinder and Bumble, will be used to better understand the difference between genders when navigating the online world in search of romance.
Presenter: Brianna Brown / Mentor: Pratibha Kumar, Ph.D.
The Social Impacts of Sport
Panel Presentation
Panelists: Jared McMahon, Rachel Rollins and Leah May / Mentor and Moderator: Mary Catherine Kennedy, Ph.D.
Masculinity and the Mouse - Manhood in Disney
It is no secret that Disney movies present unrealistic expectations for young girls, whether unattainable standards for beauty or the superficial goal of being swept off your feet into the sunset. However, male Disney characters, whether princes or protagonists, play a role in shaping little boys’ lives as well. While some aspects of traditional masculinity still play a role in our society, other elements are changing. While men are still taught not to show emotion and there are still hints of this 1980’s MMA fighter vision of masculinity, many men are taking up traditionally more feminine roles, helping them have a more complete role in their family life. Disney movies are a reflection of the view of “the ideal man”, except for the earliest Disney movies. The earliest Disney princes serve as trophies for the princesses. Many of the other characters during the so-called “Disney Renaissance” have a more active role in the princesses’ lives, but they are all built the same way. Therefore, there has been a huge emphasis on looks for these cartoon characters. However, that is changing. As Disney releases more movies with male protagonists, rather than solely “princess movies”, the stories about what it is to be a man. As many of the male characters progress in the movies, they begin with an immature, incomplete view of masculinity only to have that view aggressively challenged. They end their respective movies with a more mature understanding of manhood and themselves, including the fact that they have a responsibility to the people they love.
Presenter: Emma Weinheimer / Mentor: Pratibha Kumar, Ph.D.

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Faculty Presentations