Taboo Topics Transformed: How HIV/AIDS Profoundly Altered Public Communication

HIV/AIDS has taken a devastating global death toll, but it has also engendered far-reaching social consequences. HIV/AIDS has significantly reshaped media agendas, drawing public attention to the evolving medical and social devastation of the disease. In less than four decades, HIV/AIDS rose from obscurity to a cultural catalyst that restructured social institutions and irrevocably changed public discourse across the globe. Words and images once considered taboo routinely appear in all forms of mass communication, pervade children’s education, influence personal relationships, and affect public policy. The post-HIV/AIDS world is a vastly different place than it was before the 1980s. The struggle to communicate across cultural divides, to foster tolerance and promote human rights for HIV-positive people continues, but the conversation is taking place in public forums, using specific words and images. This article explores how HIV/AIDS profoundly changed society’s cultural institutions by transforming media and public discussions about the disease.

The Motion Comic: Neither Something Nor Nothing

A motion comic combines artwork, panels and narrative from comic books with affordances from animation, film, graphic design, sound design and interactivity and is commonly referred to in the literature as a “hybrid medium,” a “medium in between.” Motion comic production can be located within the broader industry tendency for media forms and their associated languages to fluidly recombine. This paper aims to understand the creative space of the motion comic in terms of media hybridity. Drawing on literature from motion comic scholarship, industry discussion, critical reviews and analysis of motion comic exemplars, the paper presents a theoretical explication of the hybrid media context of motion comics as a type of narrative motion graphics. The analysis concludes that the motion comic occupies an ambiguous space in terms of media modalities, aesthetics, literacy and critical reception and is symptomatic of the underlying attributes of software-induced hybridization of traditional media.

Who’s the Boss?: A Comparative Analysis of Authority Figure Representations in Popular TV Sitcoms, 1991–92 vs. 2011–12

The diversity of today’s family structure and the intensifying consumption of television has amplified the importance of recognizing how media portray authority figures and their communication with adolescents. This study illustrates how authority figures are framed through a comparative textual analysis of popular TV sitcoms. Results indicate that the interaction between adolescents and authority figures has evolved. Twenty years ago, the division of authority was quite clear, whereas current programming reveals relationships that are more complicated and often depict authority figures more as friends.