Kath and Kim around the world

The globalisation of TV programs and their consequent success or failure is a result of how they’ve been culturally translated for different global markets. TV as we know it today has relied on the export and import of program formats and it’s no secret that Hollywood has had immense success with this. A lot of TV programs shown on Australian TV have been imported from America, but little did I know that many of these programs originated in other countries. Even Australian reality TV shows such as ‘Deal or No Deal’, ‘Funniest Home Videos’ ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘Big Brother’ didn’t originate in our lovely country – they are simply adaptations of the original program.

Although these programs were granted success, it is due to successful adaptation and translation of the program to be applicable to a new cultured audience; this is often more difficult when it comes to translating drama or comedy programs. For example, ‘Desperate Housewives’ originated in Hollywood and has been widely successful and sustained popularity in over 200 countries, with adaptations in several countries reflecting cultural traditions and values. Whereas Australia’s comedy ‘Kath and Kim’ was hugely successful in its homeland, so much so that the lovely ladies released a film, but when licensed to be adapted in America, the audience just didn’t catch on. The cultural translation of television shows is notably seen through the American remake as it is seen as being ironised out for American audiences because they are used to the perfect television stars but in this, lose the irony that the originals boast.

In examining Kath and Kim, it fair to say that it’s difficult for Australian TV programs and ideas to compete with other industries such as Hollywood which evidently holds a position as a dominant flow in the global television market. It is through the inclusion of local acts and personalities of each country’s version of a program that it becomes localised and the content is more likely to be well received, attracting an international audience. So, it can be said that importing international television programs may be attributed with success when common cultural meaning and identity is established, or the TV format is licensed and therefore may be appropriately adapted to translate to the culture of the audience.


Turnbull, S (2008) ‘It’s Like They Threw a Panther in the Air and Caught It in Embroidery’: Television Comedy in
Translation’ Metro Magazine Issue 159

Turnbull, S. 2010, “The long tail of mother and son: the transnational career of an Australian situation comedy”, Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no. 134, pp. 96.

Turnbull, S (2004) ‘Look at Moiye, Kimmie, look at moiye’: Kath and Kim an dthe Australian comedy of taste’ Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy No 113, November pp 98 – 109


Transnational Film Industries

Globalisation has adversely impacted film industries in all aspects of production, ultimately improving cinematic quality and diversity across various global markets. The development of film industries in conjunction with globalisation has both positive and negative factors to be considered. The U.S exemplifies global success as a film industry, where as the Chinese film industry is lagging behind as it struggles to attract large international audiences.

There is an increasing popularity of Indian cinema across various global markets and it has the potential to challenge Hollywood’s cinema hegemony (Karan & Schaefer 2010). An emerging interest in the Indian culture and ‘Bollywood’ can be attributed to socio-cultural variations and hybridization, consequent of formal and informal global network channels. Without globalisation, competition between various global film industries would not exist. Consequently, without the competition, cultural hybridity and hetrogenization would not exist within cinema (at least not as successfully). These factors are important in filmmaking as it is through the inclusion of both local and global elements that content is appealing to a wider audience (Karan & Schaefer 2010). However, it is arguable that through the hybridization of culture and borrowing cultural concepts that cultural identity is lost as a result of misinterpretations and lack of understanding.

The Chinese film industry, for example, lacks the inclusion of both local and global elements; this is one of the many challenges that the industry is facing due to globalisation. However, in analysing the Chinese producer’s problems and competition, alternative methods and ways in which they may be able to achieve more success in a fierce and western-dominant film industry have been suggested. Chinese Confucian culture promotes imitation and tradition, evidenced in their cinema, however lacks the creativity, innovation and the technical skills necessary to compete with other global markets (Huiqun 2010). With an abundance of talent and historical resources, if utilized in a way that American film producers have in the past, Chinese productions have the potential to attract large local and international audiences (Huiqun 2010).


Huiqun, L 2010, ‘Opportunities and challenges of globalization for the Chinese film industry’, Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 323-328

Jin, D.Y 2012, ‘Transforming the global film industries: Horizontal integration and vertical concentration amid neoliberal globalization’, International Communication Gazette, vol. 74, no. 5, pp. 405-422

Karan, K and Schaefer, DJ 2010, ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows’, Global Media and Communication, Vol.6, No.3, pp.309-316

Miley’s Moooves

Dance is an evolutionary process. Each culture has its own element to add to already existing dance moves and styles. Dance is many things – traditional, cultural, modern, fun, serious, passionate – it is an expression. However, questions have been raised in regards to certain dance styles: who can and cannot use them. In some contexts, particular moves or styles have been considered offensive and/or racial which raises concerns about the effects hybridity has on dance.

A recent example of this is Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMA’s. Youtube has been flooded with videos of the performance, about the performance, people’s opinions of the performance and several have found it either offensive or racist, or both.


International Education

Being a self-absorbed domestic student, I never gave much thought to the number of factors that affect an international students experience when living in Australia and attending University.  In order to achieve success and maintain a positive wellbeing, international students face the battle of not only academic, but also social and cultural adjustments (Kell P & Vogl G, 2007). These challenges are often magnified by the students knowledge of English, or otherwise lack of, and often their inability to keep up with Australians fast speech, accents and colloquialisms (Kell P & Vogl G, 2007).

After engaging with this topic, I have been more aware of international students and how they interact both with students and tutors/lecturers, and in one of my classes I recalled a conversation between a tutor and two Chinese students. My tutor had posed a question and asked each student to respond but when it came to the two Chinese students to answer, only one, very sheepishly gave a response. The other student sat in silence, whilst my tutor, becoming frustrated, prodded her for an answer. The situation escalated further before the tutor ‘gave up’ and moved on.

At the time of the incident I was sympathetic for the International students but I couldn’t understand why they didn’t just speak up to begin with. To me, it was something that is so simple and natural that I suppose I expected it to be the same for them. In retrospect, I now understand the challenges such as lack of understanding and confident that the students were struggling to cope with.


Kell, P and Vogl, G (2007) ‘ International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’ Everyday Multiculturalism Conference Proceedings, Macquarie University, 28-29 September 2006.


“Globalisation refers to an international community influenced by technological development and economic, political and military interests. It is characterised by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information.”  (O’Shaughnessy M & Standler J 2008, p. 458)

So basically, globalisation is the interaction or exchange of information, goods, services – almost anything – between people like you and I, government bodies, companies and communities. You may not realise it but a lot of what you own, or what you might come across in your daily life, most likely represents globalisation in some way.

There are various aspects of our lives that are affected in some way shape or form, by globalisation, such as our trade industry, environment, culture, technology, travel and much more (The Levin Institute 2013). Many question whether this is good or bad and of course there are two sides to every story; however I would like to focus on the good!

The scale of trade has increased dramatically and this is partly because of the low cost and efficiency of today’s transportation methods; what was once about a two month journey between countries is now a matter of days (Meyer R 2012). But lets be honest, this increase is mainly a result of lower labour costs in other countries, especially the Asia pacific. Who isn’t enticed by lower prices?

Many struggle with the moral and ethical battle that this situation may present but you’ve got to look on the bright side. The globalisation of trade has provided these ‘poorer’ countries with a huge amount of job opportunities and with that comes many benefits for the individuals, their families and the country’s economy. For the individuals and their families, that job is a pathway to a better, healthier, more sustainable life and future that would not be so easily accessible otherwise. The economies of these countries see similar benefits from the globalisation of trade as they have become desirable partners for many large corporations and countries.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the goods that we purchase – such as clothes – are cheaper, more readily available and in terms of some products, produced at a higher quality. If you ask me, the positive factors outweigh the bad when it comes to globalisation.



Globalization I – The Upside: Crash Course World History #41 2012,  Youtube video, crashcourse,  written by Raoul Meyer, viewed 8 August 2013, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SnR-e0S6Ic>

O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J (2008) ‘Globalisation’ Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471

The Levin Insititute 2013, What is Globalization, The State University of New York, viewed 8 August 2013, <http://www.globalization101.org/what-is-globalization>.