The Complexities of Cultural Jamming and Corporations

Tim Jordan, author of Activism!: Direct Action, Hacktivism, and the Future of Society, points out the complexities of culture jamming. The overall hope of culture jammers is to rid the current world of impure cultural codes and languages that exist because of corporate and state desires. Cultural jamming tries to fight back the manipulative ways of corporations and their branding by drastically changing messages of advertisements with small alterations. Cultural jamming is a great medium for modern activism because our world is “a media-saturated world” (Jordan 117). This can get messy unfortunately due to the fact that corporations can culture jam themselves simply for the publicity. The challenges faced here remind me of the concept, “there is no such thing as bad publicity”. Celebrities will create fake scandals when they feel as though their light is fading. They become left out of popular conversation around the nation/world until something of great proportions happens, and the celebrity themselves is best qualified to be the mastermind behind it all. They then have full control of cause and effect. This attention-seeking method is easily translated to the world of corporations by Jordan.

The strength and power of corporations has also been brought to my attention. The tactics of corporations have become almost foolproof . Jordan’s statement that “globalized capitalism does not seek control of desire, but control through desire” (Jordan 112) reveals that corporations have the upper-hand. With cultural norms already well established in society, it is easy for corporations to use branding to sell a desired lifestyle rather than just a singular product. Jordan goes on to discuss Nike and its ability to get consumers so hooked on a check mark. This symbol being on any product leads the buyer to believe they will then be able to attain the lifestyle advertised by Nike so much so that the consumers are willing to place the knowledge of Nike’s use of slave labor to the back of their mind. This goes to show how powerful symbolism is and how hard it is to be a modern day activist living in a world with very solidified ideas and cultural codes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s