Globalization, Consumption and Team Names

By: Kenny and Ursula

May 17th

Our class began with a practice quiz of a Giant Bike ad, after which Professor Sheehan gave us feedback on things we analyzed well in addition to areas where we missed points. We then started learning an extremely brief history of both globalization and how it interacted with China. The lecture touched on such topics as the Columbian Exchange, trade routes and food drugs (including tea). We are looking at whether or not globalization is new a phenomenon. Different countries have been in contact for thousands of years, multinational corporations are newer and technology like the telegraph even more recent, yet still before the internet. When did globalization start is helping us on the way to understanding what globalization means. It has been interesting attempting to look at the rather vague term, globalization, through an historical lens.

Today, the major development in the course was starting the main course text, Consumption in China by Lianne Yu. This has led to interesting discussions on brand loyalty and identity, hybridity, internet use, status and cultural differences between the United States and China. The conversations are insightful and colorful as we often bring personal experiences and examples into the discussion. As a class, we are definitely starting to learn more about each other. At the end of class, we began to solidify the groups we are going to be working with over the next few weeks.

May 18th

We are almost done with a quarter of our summer course, various concepts in readings are starting to connect with one another, and advertisements seem to carry a lot more messages now than before the start of our Global East Asia course.

We began our class with Katie treating us to some awesome pretzel snacks (thank you Papa Sheehan for having the late-snack policy)! Right after, however, Professor Sheehan gave us our first pop quiz on advertisement/source analysis to even out the good start to our class. All jokes aside, our quiz required us to analyze a Huawei (Chinese cell phone brand) advertisement using the new concepts and frameworks related to globalization and consumerism we learned the past few days. Professor Sheehan very generously prepared us for the quiz the previous day when he gave us a practice quiz and guided us towards the types of analyses we should include in our quizzes and eventually in our final projects. Moreover, the important pedagogical motive behind having quizzes is to train and teach us how to later analyze the advertisements we see during our fieldwork in China.

In terms of our group projects, we got together with our research groups and decided on group names because that is what group projects are all about! We also spent time narrowing down our research topics which entailed picking an industry of interest and finding a potential question we would like to explore. Lastly, we briefly searched for advertisements from our selected industries which are going to serve as the primary sources in our 2 page analytical papers due next Monday.

Update on group projects:

Team Name Members Selected Product/Industry
The Little Mermaids Ursula Collins-Laine, Connor Hudson Hollywood Merchandise
Hua Mi Team Erick Chen, Michael O’Krent, Kenny Lin Chinese Smartphones
PEBs Piper Kristine, Edith Conn, Breana Norris Air Pollution Products
Soybean Biajani McEwen-Lopez, Katie Chak Chinese Food Industry