Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Transnational Thinking

Posted by Drake Kizer on April 24, 2017

Today’s selection covered pages 259-290 in our Spreadable Media textbook. The reading continued our look into chapter seven, or “Thinking Transnationally”, and it proved to be an interesting continuation. We moved back into the textbook for today’s readings, and I noticed on the syllabus that our next (and final) blog post will be from the textbook as well. So, I’ll take a second to bid the online essays a fond farewell, as we are completely finished with reading them for the semester.

This excerpt covered a lot of material, but the text’s overall discussion of how thinking with a transnational lens allows for a deeper understanding of our current media environment was extremely thought-provoking and intriguing to me. The book says that the term “transnational” is used instead of “the commonly used “global,” in recognition of the uneven nature” with which media flows through different cultures. According to the text, “participatory cultural practices are transforming transnational media flows”, and these changes allow more people to have their voices heard by a global audience. While “producers from the developed world” will always have power, their influence is growing weaker and weaker every day.

The text says that “spreadable practices are allowing more content to circulate across national borders”, and I believe that statement is extremely true in today’s modern media environment. An example that immediately springs to mind when I consider the transnational content I personally consume is professional wrestling. I watch quite a bit of New Japan Pro Wrestling, which is the Japanese equivalent of WWE. They produce a lot of interesting and engaging content that I enjoy even though I cannot understand any dialogue without the help of context clues. My consumption of this transnational media content has “[fostered] curiosity about other cultures and [has] [motivated] further investigation” on my end. For example, after I noticed many Japanese audience members wearing surgical masks, I researched and found out those masks are an important aspect of Japanese fashion culture. After gaining that knowledge, I realized the value of transnational interactions.


3 Responses to “Transnational Thinking”

  1. kaufmansw said

    I watch foreign baseball and basketball all the time so I can relate to you watching Japanese Wrestling. As a kid, sports were the best way for me to understand that people from other places aren’t all that different. As a result I started to learn more about the culture of other countries.

  2. tristendenney14 said

    I completely agree with you Drake, especially when referring to “spreadable practices allowing more content to circulate across national borders.” I also believe this is very true because there are so many different examples of this in modern society. From watching Japanese wrestling, to staying up-to-date with foreign news, the possibilities are endless. Therefore, I can’t wait to see the progressive success of transnational media.

  3. emilyjones232 said

    I like how you brought up Japanese wrestling. That and many other forms of foreign sports are popular because of transnational media.

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