From a Western Phenomenon to a Global Phenomenon

This article examines the globalization of reality television by comparing popular reality shows in the United States and China. This research attempts to transcend common debates concerning globalization (i.e., cultural homogenization and glocalization) by emphasizing what exists on the margins of these arguments. The author instead focuses attention on the micro-level consequences of the globalization of popular culture—the potential anxieties and insecurities facing Chinese and American citizens. The author reviews foundational studies of globalization that pinpoint these anxieties to the increasing disconnect between what people want and state power. Using Schudson’s theory of popular culture the author proposes that the reality television content that is popular in these two locales indicate viewer’s primary sources of anxiety but also works to remedy these anxieties in accordance with the values and goals of the nation state. The findings of this article are based on a theoretical explanation of what is culturally resonant in each nation and even politically necessary. The author calls for future research to critically engage with both the production of reality television and audience research on the genre as a means to more clearly understand its presence in the political sphere. Overall, this article adds to the literature by exploring the transaction between reality television, politics, and globalization.

Relationships between Human Beings and Objects: An Extension of Parasocial Interaction

Objects have been playing a crucial role as a medium of people’s interpersonal relationships and communication for a long time. Though the nature and types of objects evolved over time, their natural association shows presence of a strong interaction between them. Human-object interaction is, however, not studied widely despite having much research on relationships between two individuals. Keeping that idea in mind, this study examines human-object interaction, an extension of parasocial interaction, for a robust understanding on how the interaction develops and progresses between a person and an object over time. Findings of the analysis include that frequent use of and visiting an object create a one-way interaction of users or visitors with that object, and the human-object parasocial interaction evolves in phases.

Digital Natives and Perceived Technology Skills: Bridging the Digital Divide between Natives

Over the past few decades, the importance of technology has risen significantly in the workplace. Young graduates are hired with the expectation that their technology skills exceed those of the preceding generations. Previous research has shown that there are generational gaps between employer expectations and the real skills of young graduates which have led to dissatisfaction and misunderstanding. One of these generational gaps consists of perceived technological skills. In fact, Millennials, also known as digital natives, are not as technologically-savvy as employers are led to believe. While these digital natives have grown up with technology, their use is rudiment at best. The results from this study derive from a quantitative survey distributed to first year students at an international hospitality school in Switzerland. Students rated their comfortability with eight specific IT tasks and were also asked to allocate a percentage out of 100 to five areas recruiters seek from new employees: people-savvy, tech-savvy, loyalty, fun-loving, and hard-working. The results showed that international Millennials rate their comfortability with technology much lower than Millennials in similar studies conducted with American students. This study examines how Millennials perceive their technology skill gaps and what can be done to bridge this gap in the workplace.