CARE WHITE PAPER ISSUE 10 : Digital Hate and the infrastructures of communicative capital

by Prof. Mohan Dutta,Director, CARE Massey University


Image source: 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited

Communicative capital, the consolidation of communicative infrastructures to drive profiteering, forms the face of twenty-first century neoliberalism. From Facebook to Amazon, digital communication is one of the most profitable sites of capitalist expansion.

Communicative capital is intertwined with financial and technological capital, drawing on the global networks of finance and simultaneously creating new sites and spaces for financialization.

Communicative capital works through the commercialization of human participation on digital platforms, turning likes, shares, and comments into profitable resources.

Of the wide array of human emotions on digital platforms that drive profiteering, hate is a powerful resource that draws in viewers, propels shares, and creates networks of flow. Hate has the potential of generating large profits because of its virality.

CARE White Paper Issue 9: Relocating the Health of Transgender Sex Workers in Singapore from the Margins: A Culture-Centered Approach

While there is high visibility of LGBT advocacy in Singapore, transgender[1] persons comprise a small, marginalized portion of the community, an even smaller proportion of which tend to go into sex work at a young age for various economic, social and cultural factors. Transgender sex workers (TSW) in Singapore comprise a marginalized community that has been identified by health authorities as one that is high risk of HIV/AIDS and other STIs, as with cisgender[2] female sex workers. They are further marginalized for their status as sex workers in an Asian society where sex outside of marriage is considered deviant behavior (Banerjee, 2000; Allard K Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic, 2015). Sex work for transgender persons embodies an array of vulnerabilities ranging from income instability and health insecurities to everyday experiences of discrimination and communicative inequalities in articulating the problems faced by transgender sex workers (Perez-Brumer, 2016). Neoliberal state laws and policies in Singapore acknowledge that while sex work cannot be eradicated as this may force the activities underground and encourage organized crime, sex trafficking and public health risks (Singapore Parliament Reports), these laws do not deem sex work itself as illegal, but criminalize sex work-related activities such as soliciting, pimping, and owning brothels (Misc. Offences Act Art 19; Women’s Charter Art 146; Women’s Charter Art 148). Migrant sex workers are increasingly vulnerable, and may face arrest, fines, deportation and bans from the state for 3 years or more (Immigration Act Art 8(3)(e)(f); Allard K Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic, 2015).

CARE White Paper Issue 8: Structural constraints, voice infrastructures, and mental health among low-wage migrant workers in Singapore: Solutions for addressing COVID19

Structural constraints, voice infrastructures, and mental health among low-wage migrant workers in Singapore: Solutions for addressing COVID19

Mohan J. Dutta Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research & Evaluation, Massey University

Responding to the continued rise in COVID19 clusters in migrant worker dormitories in Singapore, and building on earlier research (See CARE White paper Issue 6), this White Paper reports on the findings of a survey conducted with low-wage migrant workers in Singapore. In addition to the poor living conditions highlighted earlier, the structural constraints on preventive behavior are explored. Drawing on the key tenets of the culture-centered approach, the research highlights the powerful role of structural factors such as arrangements of dormitories, the absence of hygienic conditions because of the structures, the lack of clean toilets, pressure on limited toilets, and scarcity of water. The findings highlight the challenges to mental health and wellbeing experienced by the workers. Moreover, it points to the absence of voice infrastructures, and the ways in which this absence contributes to conditions that are rife for the pandemic. Solutions for structural solutions and voice democracy are offered.

CARE White Paper Issue 7: April 2020- Culture-centered community-led testing

Culture-centered community-led testing

by Gayle Moana – Johnson, CARE – Community Research Assistant and Mohan J. Dutta, Director,Center for Culture – centered Approach to Research & Evaluation Massey University

In this white paper, the community advisory group in Highbury, working with community researcher Gayle Moana-Johnson, developed the key conceptual guidelines for culture-centered community-grounded testing. The white paper highlights the key concepts anchoring the partnership between the community advisory group and the clinical team at HHPNZ

This white paper outlines the key principles of culture-centered community-led testing that are voiced by the advisory group of community members in Highbury, anchored in the principle of representing the most “in-need” members of the community (referred in the rest of this white paper as the “margins of the margins”). The key ideas in this white paper are developed as anchoring principles for the partnership between the community advisory group and the Health Hub Project New Zealand (HHPNZ).

CARE White Paper Issue 4: March 2020 – COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Package

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Package

by Christine Elers (Ngā Hau), Junior Research Officer, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research & Evaluation (CARE)

We are writing about the government’s covid-19 wage subsidy package, in particular:

  • the sick leave payment due to be folded into the modified covid-19 wage subsidy package; and
  • the online publication outlining the names of all employers who have received the covid-19 wage subsidy package.

CARE COVID-19 WHITE PAPERS

CARE White Paper Issue 8

Structural constraints, voice infrastructures, and mental health among low-wage migrant workers in Singapore: Solutions for addressing COVID19

Mohan J. Dutta Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research & Evaluation, Massey University

Responding to the continued rise in COVID19 clusters in migrant worker dormitories in Singapore, and building on earlier research (See CARE White paper Issue 6), this White Paper reports on the findings of a survey conducted with low-wage migrant workers in Singapore. In addition to the poor living conditions highlighted earlier, the structural constraints on preventive behavior are explored. Drawing on the key tenets of the culture-centered approach, the research highlights the powerful role of structural factors such as arrangements of dormitories, the absence of hygienic conditions because of the structures, the lack of clean toilets, pressure on limited toilets, and scarcity of water. The findings highlight the challenges to mental health and wellbeing experienced by the workers. Moreover, it points to the absence of voice infrastructures, and the ways in which this absence contributes to conditions that are rife for the pandemic. Solutions for structural solutions and voice democracy are offered.


CARE White Paper Issue 7

Culture-centered community-led testing

Gayle Moana – Johnson, CARE – Community Research Assistant and Mohan J. Dutta, Director,Center for Culture – centered Approach to Research & Evaluation Massey University

In this white paper, the community advisory group in Highbury, working with community researcher Gayle Moana-Johnson, developed the key conceptual guidelines for culture-centered community-grounded testing. The white paper highlights the key concepts anchoring the partnership between the community advisory group and the clinical team at HHPNZ

This white paper outlines the key principles of culture-centered community-led testing that are voiced by the advisory group of community members in Highbury, anchored in the principle of representing the most “in-need” members of the community (referred in the rest of this white paper as the “margins of the margins”). The key ideas in this white paper are developed as anchoring principles for the partnership between the community advisory group and the Health Hub Project New Zealand (HHPNZ).


CARE White Paper Issue 6:

Infrastructures of housing and food for low-wage migrant workers in Singapore


Courtesy Julio Etchart as part of CARE’s “Respect Migrant Rights” campaign in Singapore

This white paper responds to the high prevalence of COVID-19 in clusters associated with dormitories that house low-wage migrant workers in Singapore. Based on an ongoing digital ethnography (45 hours of participant observation) conducted in spaces where low-wage migrant workers participate online, 43 interviews conducted between April 7 2020 and April 13, 2020, inputs from advisory group of lowwage migrant workers, and drawing on 157 in-depth interviews conducted since 2013, the following key challenges with housing and food, as well as corresponding key solutions are proposed. Each of the key challenges is presented, alongside specific recommendations for solutions. The participants for the interviews were identified using snowball sampling. The interviews were conducted in Bengali, mix of Bengali and English, or English, depending on the level of comfort of the participant. Given the sense of anxiety expressed by the participants (see theme 7 below), the white paper does not disclose the locations. Also, it does not separate the different forms of arrangements to protect the confidentiality of the participants. The excerpts from the interviews are truncated to protect the identity of the participants. One of the limitations of the current study is the small sample size of the COVID19- specific data gathered between the April 7 and April 13 timeframe; however, the depth of the narratives offer rich contextually-embedded insights into the challenges being experienced by low-wage migrant workers and the potential insights they envision. The CARE research team is currently conducting a follow-up quantitative study exploring everyday experiences of health and wellbeing among low-wage migrant workers.


CARE White Paper Issue 5: April 2020

Challenges To Seeking Health Information And Healthcare Among Low Income Communities Amid COVID19

by Mohan J. Dutta Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research & Evaluation, Massey University

The findings reported here are drawn from our advisory group of community members that represent the community in Highbury. The advisory group has been built on the basis of purposive sampling, ensuring that the voices of the “margins of the margins” are represented. The advisory group meets face-to-face as well as on a digital platform. The group is facilitated by two community researchers, recruited from within the advisory group and trained in the fundamentals of interview-based research.


CARE White Paper Issue 4: March 2020

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Package

Christine Elers (Ngā Hau), Junior Research Officer, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research & Evaluation (CARE)

We are writing about the government’s covid-19 wage subsidy package, in particular:

  • the sick leave payment due to be folded into the modified covid-19 wage subsidy package; and
  • the online publication outlining the names of all employers who have received the covid-19 wage subsidy package.

CARE White Paper: Issue 3 April 2020

The limits of the “Singapore Model” in COVID-19 response: Why authoritarian governmentality is not the solution

Mohan J. Dutta, Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE)

A wide range of models have been proposed as frameworks for responding to Covid-19. These models highlight
the significance of health communication in preventing the spread of COVID19 as well as in effectively responding to it. The positioning of specific models as solutions to COVID-19 is tied to the creation of actual strategies of response
globally. One such model that has been rapidly disseminated in policy discourse and circulated in articulations of COVID response is the “Singapore Model.” Drawing on the key tenets of the CCA, this paper will examine the premise of the “Singapore Model” as a framework for global health.

The white paper draws on the key tenets of the CCA to examine Singapore’s pandemic response. The CCA foregrounds the interplays of culture, structure, and agency in the constructions of health meanings and the development of health solutions.

Structure refers to the political
economy of organizing resources in society. Culture reflects the community norms, community-based meanings, and community values guiding relational negotiations of health and wellbeing. Agency reflects the relational and collective capacities of communities to develop solutions.


CARE White Paper: Issue 2 March 2020

A culture-centered approach to pandemic response: Voice, Universal Infrastructure, and Equality

Mohan J. Dutta, Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE)

The global nodes of spread of Covid-19 highlight the significance of health communication in preventing the spread as well as in effectively responding to it. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Noting the aggressive movement of the virus across countries, with eight countries reporting more than 1000 cases of COVID-19, the WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Drawing on critical analyses of the pandemic and crises response literatures as well as building on the experiences of CARE in developing culture-centered community grounded interventions,this white paper outlines the culture-centered approach to pandemic response, specifically directed at offering culturecentered guidelines for effective communication. The culture-centered approach foregrounds the interplays of culture, structure, and agency in the constructions of health meanings and the development of health solutions


CARE WHITE PAPER ISSUE 1: February 2020 – Exploring challenges: A Culture-Centred Approach (CCA) project in Glen Innes

Dr Phoebe Elers, Dr Steve Elers and Professor Mohan Dutta

This study explores the challenges experienced by residents in Glen Innes, Auckland. The findings have assisted in the identification of local problems and corresponding solutions, including the ‘Poverty is Not Our Future’ campaign, which has served as anchor for residents to challenge dominant structures and, at the same time, communicate their everyday realities of poverty. While this study is focused on Glen Innes, material hardship continues to be a significant issue in Aotearoa New Zealand, with research determining that 13 percent of children lived in households that experienced material hardship in the 2017/18 financial year (Statistics New Zealand, 2019) and that children born into disadvantage in Aotearoa New Zealand have a significant likelihood of remaining disadvantaged (New Zealand Treasury, 2016a, 2016b; Templeton, 2016).

Link to the White Paper :https://www.massey.ac.nz/~wwcare/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Poverty-is-Not-Our-Future-White-Paper-1.pdf

CARE Activist-In-Residence: Jolovan Wham from Community Action Network, Singapore

Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) is proud to share and invite our next Activist in Residence – Mr. Jolovan Wham.

Jolovan Wham is a Singaporean of ethnic Chinese descent. He has been involved in human rights activism, working primarily on issues relating to migrants, the death penalty, and freedom of expression.

He was executive director of Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), an NGO which provides shelter, education opportunities and legal aid for low waged migrant workers.

He is a member of the Community Action Network, a coalition of activists which promotes civil and political rights. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in social work from the National University of Singapore. His activism has resulted in him being banned by the education minister from speaking at education institutions and campuses.

He will be presenting a Public Talk, Workshop & will be collaborating with Prof. Mohan Dutta,Director,- CARE at Massey University on the topic “Communicative strategies for resisting authoritarianism”.

The event details are as below.


Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) presents our next Activist In Residence Public Talk by  Mr. Jolovan Wham

Title: First world authoritarianism: Lessons from Singapore
Date & Time: Wednesday, 27th November @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Venue: Palmerston North City Library, Events Centre, Ground Floor, Palmerston North.

Public Talk Abstract:

Authoritarianism is said to be on the rise and democracy in retreat in many parts of the world. Commentators often point out this trend in long standing liberal democracies like the United States but also to the consolidation of power in regimes like China and Russia. What can we learn from Singapore’s experience to combat the rise of authoritarianism? In this talk, Mr Wham will talk about one party rule in Singapore, how it is perpetuated and the State’s and Singapore society’s response to activism and advocacy.


Other events:

CARE Workshop – Dissent and resistance: Negotiating boundaries in Singaporean activism by Mr. Jolovan Wham –

Workshop Title:
CARE Workshop – Dissent and resistance: Negotiating boundaries in Singaporean activism by Mr. Jolovan Wham
Date & Time: Thursday, 28th November @ 12:00-1:00 pm
Venue: GLB3.02 Manawatu, Massey University
Topic: A free workshop on Dissent and resistance: Negotiating boundaries in Singaporean activism by Mr. Jolovan Wham.

Workshop Abstract:

Activists in one party states or dictatorships are often detained and imprisoned for years. In some cases, they are murdered and disappeared. The Singapore state eschews such extreme tactics and yet retains almost absolute control over the population. What are the opportunities for dissent and resistance in such a controlled environment? What tactics and strategies have activists used to achieve their goals?


Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) Activist In Residence White Paper Launch- Communicative strategies for resisting authoritarianism by Jolovan Wham & Mohan Dutta 

White Paper Title : Communicative strategies for resisting authoritarianism
Date: Friday 29th November 2019 @ 12 pm – 1 pm
Venue: Business Studies Central BSC 1.08, Manawatu campus Massey University
Livestream on FB: @CAREMassey

Come and hear our speakers launch the CARE White Paper & hear them talk abouttheir white paper on

“Communicative strategies for resisting authoritarianism”

Speaker’s Bio:
Jolovan Wham: is a Singaporean of ethnic Chinese descent. He has been involved in human rights activism, working primarily on issues relating to migrants, the death penalty, and freedom of expression. He was executive director of Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), an NGO which provides shelter, education opportunities and legal aid for low waged migrant workers. He is a member of the Community Action Network, a coalition of activists which promotes civil and political rights. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in social work from the National University of Singapore. His activism has resulted in him being banned by the education minister from speaking at education institutions and campuses.

Mohan J Dutta: is Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), developing culturally-centered, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right. Mohan Dutta’s research examines the role of advocacy and activism in challenging marginalizing structures, the relationship between poverty and health, political economy of global health policies, the mobilization of cultural tropes for the justification of neo-colonial health development projects, and the ways in which participatory culture-centered processes and strategies of radical democracy serve as axes of global social change.

CARE Activist-In-Residence: Teanau Tuiono- The Solidarity Project

Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) proudly invites Teanau Tuiono as our next Activist-In-Residence from 5th – 9th August and we would like to share some insights about Teanau’s project for his residency – The Solidarity Project.

The Solidarity Project is all about exploring conversations of solidarity and whānaungatanga across cultures and communities. Teanau has over 20 years’ experience as an activist, advocate and organiser at local, national and international levels on social justice and environmental issues. In Pasifika communities he is known for his work in the education sector and climate change advocacy. In Māori communities he is known for his indigenous rights activism. He has an interest at working at the intersection of indigenous rights and environmental issues where he has worked with remote indigenous communities on the frontlines of climate  change and biodiversity loss.

Have a look at the his talks and conversations below for some insights about the project, more to follow in the coming days.

 

 

Come and join us at the CARE Events:

PUBLIC TALK
WEDNESDAY, 07 AUGUST 2019 12:00PM,
PALMERSTON NORTH CITY LIBRARY EVENTS CENTRAL ( GROUND FLOOR)
LIVESTREAM ON CARE FB PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/341724333429636/ 

WHITE PAPER LAUNCH
FRIDAY, 09 AUGUST 2019, 10:00AM
CoMMS LAB, B.109 MASSEY UNIVERSITY, MANAWATU CAMPUS
LIVESTREAM ON CARE FB PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/372259300150168/

RSVP  on Facebook: Activist-In-Residence- Teanau-Tuiono

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation invites all to our upcoming event: Activist-In-Residence- Teanau Tuiono

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation

Invites all to our upcoming event: Activist-In-Residence-Teanau Tuiono.

Abstract:

With the rise of white nationalism and white supremacy, how can Tangata Whenua, Pasifika, Migrant and Refugees of Colour build solidarity between their communities? Teanau’s Activist-in-Residence will explore the activist experiences of solidarity and whanaungatanga across cultures and communities.

Teanau has over 20 years’ experience as an activist, advocate, and organiser at local, national, and international levels on social justice and environmental issues. In Pasifika communities he is known for his work in the education sector and climate change advocacy. In Maori communities he is known for his indigenous rights activism.

He has an interest at working at the intersection of indigenous rights and environmental issues where he has worked with remote indigenous communities on the frontlines of climate and biodiversity loss.

Events:

PUBLIC TALK
WEDNESDAY, 07 AUGUST 2019 12:00PM,
PALMERSTON NORTH CITY LIBRARY EVENTS CENTRAL ( GROUND FLOOR)
LIVESTREAM ON CARE FB PAGE

WHITE PAPER LAUNCH
FRIDAY, 09 AUGUST 2019, 10:00AM
CoMMS LAB, B.109 MASSEY UNIVERSITY, MANAWATU CAMPUS
LIVESTREAM ON CARE FB PAGE

RSVP on Facebook: @CAREMassey