Days 7 and 8 (5/23 and 5/24)

By: Breana and Erick
May 23, 2017
Day 7: Hostesses, Harry Potter, and Happy Times

A misshapen Cheese-It found in our snacks today!

Professor Sheehan was kind enough to not give us a quiz today and instead we worked on strengthening how to write a thesis. We analyzed a Chinese Lays potato chip ad directed at the Chinese market, and then divided into groups to write our own thesis for the photo. We also got some quality bonding time with our research groups today and got to discuss more about how we will conduct our fieldwork when we get to China. Also, we got some background knowledge on the history of global interactions and Chinese context in the 20th century.

We also discussed today’s reading on karaoke hostesses in China and how they relate to consumer culture and globalization. The reading was very thought-provoking and everyone had interesting ideas to share. In regards to the reading, we noted how a lot of aspects of hostesses’ lives are contradictory, whether or not being a hostess was inherently good or bad, rural and urban identity, the role globalization plays in the lives of hostesses through the popularity of Korean and Japanese clothing, and much more.

Over the last few days, we have grown closer as a group and some GEA students and Professor Sheehan hung out at night and went to go watch a Harry Potter screening at USC. We all look forward to getting to know each other better and traveling to China together soon!    

5/24/2017 Day 8: The Last Days of Disco

Half of the GEA group missing for a short break

Piper baked cookies for everyone today! They were delicious!

As our time in Los Angeles starts to wind down, everyone is getting excited to travel to China. We started the day off to the catchy tune “Call Me Baby” by K-pop group EXO where we compared the Chinese and Korean versions of the song. The song showed just how globalized the world is today through the existence of two versions of the song- one in Korean and one in Mandarin. Piper was kind enough to bake everyone chocolate chip cookies! While the pile of cookies disappeared one cookie at a time, we looked at how to improve writing a thesis in preparation for our research projects.

The theme of the last two lessons is “Consumer Culture at the Urban Margins” and we discussed how “disco” (the word the Chinese use for going to dance clubs) culture is related to globalization in China. Our reading assignment due today was quite interesting and something not found in any average textbook. We talked about various aspects of “disco” culture and globalization such as how discos are a place to craft individual expression, how discos create a super-culture, how songs with English words are popular at discos, and how discos are places to “be consumed” as well as to consume.