What's up, Europe? Gender, media and European integration. The story of a a young Dane exploring the continent.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Dahl revisited

Two more quotes from Henrik Dahl - I can't help it! This time he is giving academia a hard time:

"If you study to become a priest you have to learn how to put on a serious face and say things with authority so that people will listen when you stand in a pulpit one day. If you study the humanities you have to learn to talk a lot because you can't really prove anything within your field."

"If you put a high school student through a university lecture he will die of boredom. That is the most vital competence of the academic: he has the ability to resist any lack of entertainment."

By the way: i forgot to add Dahl to my list of "instant understandable" scholars. No doubt, he and his observant sarcasm belong there.

Ordinary people part II

Another remarkable quote regarding tv and ordinary people - this time roughly translated from Danish:

"The drama in reality shows often stems from the non-existent self-respect of the participants. You watch these poor people who just don't know how to love themselves and you observe their struggle for honour. The dialogue is concerned with the distribution of esteem. You watch people who both have respect and lack respect for each other and that's exiting!"

- Henrik Dahl (Danish sociologist) in Delfinen

Monday, November 21, 2005

Lost in theoretical space

Damn. It seems that I - in spite of many classes at the media department - have repressed how demanding it is to read the works of media scholars. You need a dictionary of foreign words every second minute and their sentences are long and - so at least it seems to me - unnecessary complicated. I simply forgot how paradoxical it is that communication experts often fail to communicate!

Cultural thickening, problems of the extrasocietal, imagined communities, global stratification processes, refeudalization, macroframe programming, technoscapes... and a lot more that I don't even dare to think about. All this stuff is suppose to be ubiquitous but right now it's too abstract to be present in my everyday life!

Maybe my brain has shrunk? Or maybe it's filled up with political science stuff from the first two courses of this semester?

From the top of my head I can only mention two scholars from this field that have the quality of "instant understandability", namely Lars Qvortrup and Anthony Giddens. Unfortunately they're not on my curriculum list - I guess I just have to get into the habit and start spending half an hour on each page. *Sigh*

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Talkshows and home videos

"Ordinary people enjoy appearing on television enormously, even if they come across as mad, bad or sad. They video themselves with pride. Why? Because somehow appearing on television feels more real to them than their real lives. Rightly or wrongly, it is a vindication, a validation that they are somebody."

- Suzanne Moore (in Morley, 2000: Home Territories)

Still up for your fifteen minutes of fame?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

They're back!

So starting today The Socialdemocrats are Denmark's biggest municipal party. I'm wondering what exactly "did it" here in Aarhus since both Nikolai Wammen and his fellow leading candidate share opinions about almost everything. Especially when it comes to student life in Aarhus: more study relevant jobs, better possibilities for internships, cheaper accomodation and so on. What will the difference be? Well - hopefully there will be less bla-bla and more action.

Another question is why the Socialdemocrats have had such a successful election nationally. Given the fact that they lost five mandates in the national election in February it is interesting to consider why they are more popular in municipal politics nine months later.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Achieving international standards of excellence

Tomorrow I'll attend a conference on how to improve teaching and learning at Danish universities. The conference - of course - is motivated by the desire to get a head start in the so-called global knowledge race. I'm especially looking forward to the political debate. The panel is a good mix of politicians representing a broad political spectrum (starting from the left!): The Socialist People's Party, The Social Democrats, Venstre (The Liberal Party) and The Danish People's Party. It's going to be very interesting to see what these four very different politicians will come up with. Will they, to start with, agree on the importance of the issue?