K-Pop is Krazy Popular

When I first decided to write about this I can honestly admit I felt slightly ashamed by the fact I was voluntarily searching up info about K-pop on my computer. I don’t necessarily have anything against the industry or the music it produces and prior to today I wouldn’t have been able to give an opinion on the topic because I just did not known enough about it. Nevertheless something about perfectly dressed groups of men or women, all perfectly dressed, with perfect makeup and seemingly always posing for a camera, even in the absence of one makes me question my sexuality.

K-pop, short for Korean Pop, is a genre of music that came out of South Korea during the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. K-pop developed through the 90’s and many of the groups that are around today where started during the 2000’s. The music genre K-pop is mostly characterised by taking elements of Western music and layering it on top of traditional Korean music roots (this has been changing as the groups gain more popularity internationally and their styles change to cater to different audiences). But perhaps just as important as the music aspect of K-pop is the visual elements, this includes the way the groups dress, the makeup the use, the way they walk and act both on and off stage, the style and colour of their hair and the heavily choreographed performance that accompanies the singing.

K-pop quickly grew within Korea and neighbouring Asian countries because of its cultural relevance and “glamorous” presentation which appealed to a large portion of youth. It has gradually gained popularity throughout the West and many of the better-known groups are recognised all around the world and today many argue that some of these groups are becoming larger than Western pop idols such as Justin Bieber. Although this massive growth of the industry on an international scale brought in a large amount of cash to the country it also hit the South Korean culture in several negative ways as K-pop, in the eyes of the rest of the world, became bigger than the country it came from and it greatly affected the way of life in South Korea. One such example of how this rise of K-pop has affected the way of life in South Korea was the rise in plastic surgery with the country having the highest rate of plastic surgery operations per capita of anywhere in the world in both 2015 and 2016. This in itself is, at least in my opinion not necessarily a bad thing, especially as different types of plastic surgery become more common and accepted all over the world. The only real issue that is a consequence of this how they advertise looking like these K-pop stars as being ideal or perfect and they claim that is necessary to look like these idols to be “beautiful”.

Regardless of these negative consequences for South Korea, along with countless others I can only assume would exist, I still think overall that the K-pop industry is a great thing, it is successful and provides a great source of entertainment for millions of people from all over the world in different countries and bringing like minded people together.

REFERENCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-pop

http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1094145/how-korean-culture-stormed-world

https://cross-currents.berkeley.edu/e-journal/issue-9/oh-and-lee

https://www.theverge.com/2012/10/18/3516562/k-pop-invades-america-south-korea-pop-music-factory

http://www.mcgilltribune.com/a-e/surfing-the-korean-wave-how-k-pop-kpop-is-taking-over-the-world-012858/

Advertisements

Australia’s Reputation – Time to Take Action

Australia is an isolated continent, separated from the rest of the world by vast expanses of water in all directions, and although in this “shrinking world” due to things like the internet where we have a much better understanding of other cultures and the way in which other parts of the world think and act we are still very isolated in many other ways. Tourism is a strong point of Australia with many people travelling to visit, work or to complete education through either the schooling or university systems and because of this Australia should work hard to make an accommodating and accepting environment that treats these people as equals and create a society that is welcoming to the ideas and fresh viewpoints that these people can bring with them.

Although to a large extent this is the case, it only takes a few mistakes on behalf of a small number of people for Australia to be branded as an undesirable place to visit, especially when it comes to people moving to live permanently/semi-permanently in Australia whether it is for work or for education. Incidents like the Cronulla Riots, which initially occurred on the 11th of December 2005 that saw 26 people injured on that day alone and then spread over the next few days to surrounding areas is a prime example of how a lack of understanding combined with what I can only believe to be a sense of superiority lead to 104 arrests and 285 charges leaving a black mark on Australia’s history as a “racist country”.

Another example of how this “lack of understanding” has affected the worlds view, or in this case India’s view, of Australia was tarnished. The attacks specifically on Indian student is no new or overly irregular issue and I would also like to clear up now that by describing the attackers as having a “lack of understanding” I mean that they are narrow minded and acted on a point of view in the moment without considering the bigger picture. One of the most notable periods of these attacks, quite possibly because of the consequences that came of them were the racially provoked attacks taking place between 2008 – 2010 where many international students were badly injured and one fatality occurred. In late May 2009 Indian students gathered in Melbourne to protest about these attacks and it gained international recognition. It escalated to the point where the Indian government warned that if these attacks were to continue they were unable to assure that Australian’s travelling to India either to study or to visit would not be met with revenge attacks.

I think Marginsons 2012 paper that spoke of Australian’s parochial nature and views was a major contributor to both of these serious events and that our inability to make rational or reasonable decisions because of our lazy attitude to actually look at the facts beyond what is right under our noses is mostly responsible for these actions. Parochialism is a term used to describe a person or peoples whose views are confined or restricted as if within the borders of a parish: limited in range or scope due to the cut of nature of their own culture. I tend to consider myself to be pretty open minded when it comes to being accepting of other people and their cultures, I am reasonably well travelled and I enjoy new experiences especially when they involve things that I would never have done myself. But even so I still feel as if my concept of the world, the way people think, and my understanding of other cultures is seriously limited and so I can imagine how easily somebody with even less understanding than me could jump to conclusions about things simply because somebody whispered something in their ear, without even thinking to step back from the situation for a second and actually consider the facts.

Although most of the dust has settled after these major events, and as far as I can see Australia’s reputation is back on the rise, I am still concerned about how something like this could happen at anytime. The fact that these things keep happening in Australia simply because of a lack of understanding on our part, and furthermore our lack of care to try and understand is, as far as I’m concerned, embarrassing and I think Australian’s need to play more of a role in being more accepting of people travelling from overseas. Of course I understand that simply saying something like this is easy enough, and it is the actions that go with these words that are difficult to follow through on and in the long run, I honestly don’t know what needs to be done. But in the meantime I hope people can try to keep an open mind rather than having their judgement clouded by a single idea put in their head and acting aggressively on it and that we, as a society, make more of an effort to understand not only the people coming to our Country but also what makes them who they are before jumping to violence as a solution.

 

REFERENCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_against_Indians_in_Australia_controversy

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-07/india-no-longer-fears-students-at-risk-of-racial-attacks/8424124

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/indian-student-numbers-plunge-after-fresh-attack/news-story/193d86e790b3faa8eef8760bc928bdd8

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Cronulla_riots

http://mashable.com/2015/12/07/cronulla-riots-10-years-on/#McdANp283kqy

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1360080X.2012.689197?scroll=top&needAccess=true

Globalisation & Outsourcing

Globalisation as defined by a Google search on my computer, as “the process by which businesses or other organisations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale.” and although I think this is completely accurate, I also believe that there is a lot more to globalisation and the products of globalisation. Things like the mixing of cultures, integration of economies and even the rise of terrorism can be seen as potential consequences of globalisation. Of course even with all these additions it doesn’t take anything away from the definition above, and one aspect of globalisation responsible for helping an organisation develop international influence or operate on an international scale is outsourcing.

 

OUTSOURCING

Outsourcing is a business strategy which aims to improve efficiency, cut costs, speed up product development and allow the company to focus on their “core competencies” all of which is done by shifting tasks, operations, jobs, or processes to an external contracted third party for an extended period of time. These outsourced tasks can be performed either onsite or offsite. Outsourcing is not only limited to manufacturing with customer service jobs, computer programming jobs and some human resource tasks being a few other examples of the types of work companies outsource.

More commonly than the outsourcing of jobs themselves is simply the purchasing of components from a third party, such as components or parts used to assemble a product. Or outsourcing IT services such as cloud computing, one of the most commonly used methods of outsourcing with 69% of business claiming they outsourced/wanted to outsource these IT services according to Deloitte’s 2014 global outsourcing survey. Furthermore 26% of companies that did not already outsource planned to in the near future mostly due to either politics within their Country or because of the reduced costs.

 

ADVANTAGES

Cost saving, the term used to describe reducing costs of production, labour, taxes, energy costs, etc., is one of many major advantages created by outsourcing. Companies are generally able to save around 15% of spending on a certain task by outsourcing that task with a 2014 study from Datamark, Inc. claiming that one client reduced its spending on a business process by 31% in just one year, which then over the next three years increased to 33% (No direct link to source found but same statistics were being used in many articles).

Another advantage, although slightly questionable, is that outsourcing can be used to help avoid government regulations such as safety and environmental regulations as the overseas government has more lenient, if any at all, laws aiming to provide a safe working environment or any laws that cater to the maintenance of the environment.

Outsourcing is also very useful when it comes to allowing a business to concentrate on its core business competencies (what it is good at). By outsourcing certain tasks and non-core functions to a third party the company can focus its resources into things it does well which can serve to boost profits and competitiveness in the marketplace. All while delegating a task that they may not have been as proficient in to a company that bases its entire operations on it.

 

DISADVANTAGES

Although there are many advantages to outsourcing, like most aspects of globalisation, there are also a fair share of disadvantages that come attached, in some cases these disadvantages can take the form of issues that, if not dealt with properly, can lead lack of quality in a product, poor business performance and at times be against the law.

The most obvious disadvantage to outsourcing is the redundancies it creates within a work place and consequent jobs that are no longer required. This will not only lead to possible resentment from employees but can also create a reputation entailing a lack of care for their workers in the eyes of the public, even though it is consumers demanding products and a cheaper price that pushes many business to outsource to cut costs in the first place.

Some other disadvantages for the business trying to outsource are the need to be cautious of who they outsource to and how they manage their relationship with the third part company, both in the long and short term, they also need to manage their security since more often than not the relationship will allow the contracted party to sensitive business data and other relevant confidential information that is required to carry out the task.

Another potential drawback, especially if not properly understood, is the legal aspect. Offshore outsourcing presents a unique issue in regards to the fact that the laws of two countries affect all operations. The one the work is being completed in, and the one this completed work is sent to. This can be especially problematic if laws, even to a minor extent, contradict each other creating situations where tasks cannot be completed without breaking the law. More often than not businesses will employ supervisors to keep track of progress and ensure that the operations do not break any of these laws.

 

REFERENCES

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/strategy/us-2014-global-outsourcing-insourcing-survey-report-123114.pdf

https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-outsourcing-2533662

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/outsourcing.asp

https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2011/12/09/the-unintended-consequences-of-outsourcing/#10e6eb677e36

http://study.com/academy/lesson/globalization-outsourcing-insourcing-impact-of-technology-on-careers.html

http://www.nber.org/reporter/spring01/hanson.html