[Invitation] CARE Social Justice Series - A lecture by Prof Meaghan Morris

CARE is excited to host the next lecture in the CARE Social Justice Series by Prof Meaghan Morris from the Department of Sociology, NUS. TITLE: Hong Kong Liminal: Minor Culture as Method VENUE: CNM Meeting Room, Department of Communication and New Media, AS 6, #03-33 DATE: Friday , 17 Feb 2017 TIME: 3PM - 4.30PM We hope to see you there!

CARE Social Justice Series [Opening Talk by Prof Mohan Dutta]

CARE is excited to organise the CARE Social Justice Series, showcasing projects that CARE has embarked on, starting next Monday, 23 Jan 17. More information on the upcoming talks will be out soon! Prof Mohan Dutta will be giving the opening talk next Monday, 23 Jan from 1pm-2pm at CNM Meeting Room (NUS) . We hope to see you there! [caption id="attachment_2738" align="alignnone" width="1101"] Information on upcoming talks will be out soon![/caption]

CARE-CNM Research Series by Dr Gary L. Kreps

CARE-CNM is pleased to host Professor Gary L. Kreps for a one-day workshop followed by a research talk on "Translational Communication Scholarship"on the 19th January 17 (9am to 3pm) and 20th January 17 (3-4pm). Translational Communication Inquiry is designed to address important societal issues and improve quality of life. More information on this series can be found in the poster below. Register for this series by clicking on the poster below. Hope to see you there!

The conservatism of behavior change: The limits of health communication as persuasion

poverty The bulwark of health communication is built on the premise of communication as a tool of behavior change. Since the invention of film, communication scholars, practitioners, and policy makers have been obsessed with the power of media technologies to transform behaviors of audiences that can be targeted through messages. Mass media as tools of propaganda are invested with miraculous powers of transformation. The power of communication to bring about magical transformations in the behaviors of those it touches forms the mainspring of the lay obsession with magic bullet theories of the media. The media effects literature over the last four decades has robustly debunked the magic bullet ideology. These magic bullet theories have been witnessing a catalytic return since the advent of social media in the form of the renewed interest in behavior change theories, now packaged in big data analytics, nudge, and behavioral insights. What these renewed fascinations with media technologies (in this case, with the latest version, digital media) often overlook is the empirical evidence that aptly captures the limited effects of communication technologies in bringing about behavioral transformations. Why then this ongoing obsession with health communication as persuasion? Amid the large scale global inequalities and the effects of these inequalities on human health, policy makers and academics in the status quo find in the premise of behavior change the hope for improving health while keeping the status quo intact. As long as communication technologies can nudge individuals to change their behaviors, large scale inequities and the structures that constitute these inequities can be left intact. In other words, the system can be left to perpetuate itself, maintaining the status quo to the extent that health outcomes can be framed in the premises of behavior change. Hence, the growing interest in these age old communication-driven persuasive processes in economics and business schools. Essential to the logic of behavior change is an overarching conservatism that reproduces the inequities in existing structural configurations. The moral question of inequalities in health outcomes is shaped by an emphasis on individual responsibility, placing the onus of health on the individual. Behavior change reifies the neoliberal ideology of health, where policymakers and health communicators continue to see health as a product of individual behavior. The neoliberal ideology of health communication fundamentally limits conversations with empirical evidence, with the body of work on media effects that is humbling in terms of the degree of faith we ought to put on the promises of behavior change. Economists and business researchers jumping into behavioral insights and nudge theories with gusto would do well to begin with the vast body of media effects literature instead of clinging to the seductions of an ideology that has largely proven detrimental to human health and wellbeing. By Prof Mohan J. Dutta

Call for Papers!

Call for Papers!

Mobility, Mobile Media, and Health in Asia: Culture, structure, agency Editor: Mohan J. Dutta, Provost’s Chair Professor, Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore Book Series: Mobile Communication in Asia: Local Insights, Global Implications Series Editor: Sun Sun Lim, Associate Professor, Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore


In the proposed book, we examine the nature of mobility in mobile health, exploring the ways in which Asian mobilities configure into mobile media and health. The overarching framework of the book explores the intersections between mobile media and health, contextually situated in Asia and theoretically informed by Asia-centric conceptual maps for engaging with the linkages between mobile media and health. In one segment of the book, we examine mHealth projects across Asia, examining the overarching frameworks that constitute these projects, the underlying assumptions, the articulations of culture, and the expressions of agency as communities negotiate their access to and experiences with mHealth solutions. Drawing upon the overarching framework of the culture-centered approach, the book examines the flows of material, labor, and participation in mobile health interventions. Attention is paid to the ways in which mHealth interventions are conceptualized in community contexts, the role of these interventions in engaging with communities, and the constitution of community agency in mHealth interventions. In another segment of the book, we explore the ways in which health is constituted in Asia in the uses of mobile devices. Attention is paid to the vulnerabilities and risks to health constituted by mobile media, and the ways in which communities at the margins negotiate these health risks. The Chapters in this section will explore the health consequences of mobile media uses, and how mobile media products and artifacts are negotiated in the overarching context of health. First, this edited book calls for scholarship across Asia that explores critically the interplays of power and control in mHealth interventions, addresses cultural context, and/or pays attention to the ways in which community agency is conceptualized in the ambits of mHealth Interventions. Based on the cases explored in the book, the overarching framework will examine Asia-centric concepts of health, culture, and technology as conceptualized in the ambits of mHealth Interventions. The book will provide an overarching structure for comparing mHealth cases across Asia, thus developing key theoretical anchors for exploring the linkages between mobility, culture, and structures as communities enact their agency in negotiating mHealth. Second, the book calls for scholarship in Asia that explores the intersections of mobile media and health, and the juxtaposition of mobilities in/through mobile media in the backdrop of health outcomes. Chapters may explore the health outcomes attached to the manufacturing/production/disposal of mobile media, the health outcomes of mobile media uses, and the ways in which health risks/vulnerabilities are negotiated through mobilities afforded by mobile media in Asia. Based on the conceptual anchors offered by Chapters covering Asia, this section of the book will offer comparative conceptual nodes for theorizing health, mobility, and mobile media located in Asia.

Call for abstracts: 

Please submit abstracts outlining the paper. Papers submitted for the book may be theoretical pieces, empirically based pieces, or case studies comparing multiple cases. The important thing is that the Chapters be grounded in the context of Asia and seriously attend to the ways in which context configures in the theorizing of mobility, mobile media, and health. The abstract should spell out how the chapter contributes to the theorizing of mobility and health centered in Asia, drawing on culturally situated concepts that originate from and situate themselves in the Asian context. Abstracts should be no more than 1000 words long. Abstracts selected for submission will be invited to be developed into full papers (between 8000 and 10,000 words in length).


Call for Abstracts Issued: September 22, 2016 Abstract Submission Deadline: October 30, 2016 Authors Notified: November 15, 2016 Chapters Due: April, 2017 Revisions Requested: May 2017 Final Versions Due: July 2017