The Development of American Studies : New Method and New Context of American Studies

The Development of American Studies : New Method and

New Context of American Studies

Tori Nuariza Sutanto


            Basically, American Studies explores United States of America through its history, diverse culture and global role. American studies is different than another degree of courses because it combines a number of subjects including history, sociology, politic, literature and etc, also studies a broad range of topics. The major contribution of American studies is the way to look in multiple aspect because in understanding America should be used multiple aspect in viewing. Thus, It needs interdisciplinary approaches to value the nations complexity engaging with historical, political, social, and other perspectives. American studies sees what kind of society represents and what culture shaped in a way to discover through the ‘text’ and reveals the context. Through the context, the American studies scholars search for the identity, meaning and its impact toward the society. Since meaning is socially constructed by individual through interactions and the reality is not the fixed, single, agreed and a measurable phenomenon, Thus there are multiple constructions and interpretations of reality in which continously changes over time. Therefore, American Studies employs qualitative research. According to Patton (1990) qualitative research is an effort to understand situations in their uniqueness as part of a particular context and the interactions there. Concerning to the goals of American studies scholars in which searches for identity, meaning, and its impact toward society, the use of qualitative research significantly contributes to the understanding of what the nature of American society and character, what is going on with the American reception toward such a propaganda, what their reaction toward the U.S government policies, what actually the world looks like in the new political trends of American society, and etc. In this way, American studies strives for depth of understanding with the scrutinizing multiple aspect and freely playing on interpretations. Continue reading “The Development of American Studies : New Method and New Context of American Studies”


Media and Cultural Politic Role : Redefining Cultural Representation of Women

Media and Cultural Politic Role :  Redefining

Cultural Representation of Women

Tori Nuariza Sutanto


            The fact that Facebook function as a social networking site in which every people can express their beliefs, interest, and social habits, triggered new phenomenon of gender problem in the western society. Particularly, It is emerged since the feminist critics described that today we lived in a society which the people were  interested in rape jokes, believed violance against women was funny and habitually consumed cultural products that depicted women as glossy thinks. Thus, Facebook here functioned as a driven factor to perpetuate the spreading of violent mysogny culture in the social media, in which Facebook facilitates a social room and engages many people globally. Regarding to the status quo, the gender activist saw the opportunity to confront, contest, and change that condition whose positioned permissive attitudes to violance against women. Therefore, the #FBRape Campaign movement emerged on twitter, the other social media who was also popular in the Western society.


            Tuchman (1978) stated that the representation of women in cultural products were marginalized and underestimated. This state of condition as Tuchman said can be called as the symbolic annihilation of woman. Then, Tuchman in his mirroring hypothesis argues that mass media not only reflects dominant social values in the society, but also the symbolic representation how society looks themselves. Baehr (Strinati, 1995 : 283) has ever stated that women movement  has been responded critically what we called ‘sexism in the media’. In this way, It was usual if Facebook above accused of naturalizing sexist norms. The Emer O’Toole article in the Guardian, actually explained that the #FBRape Campaign challenge was primarily how to make policy change. The writer sees this phenomenon of #FB Rape Campaign as a counter discourse in which just perpeatuted the discourse conflict. This reaction is necessary but unfortunately not very substantive as the primary goal are supposed to redefine the cultural representation.


            Regarding the issues above, what Facebook company argument to perpetuate the cultural representation of violance against women, was to  defend its  policies of anti-cencorship as a basic of free speech. What some pioneering feminist decision to fight back through everyday sexism project actually somehow to develop culturall awareness of the society to not do violence against women. This condition mainly existed as a consequence of the same liberal epistemology which did clash each other. In this context, the writer propose a critical media education  in which the primary goal is to develop media literacy. It is very important for the society aware voices and ideological code in the our common cultural artifacts, also it can distinct between hegemonic ideology, image, discourse, and text which broke down the dominant. In addition, according to Kellner (2010) who thinks futuristically that media and culture  should be a device of social engineering since with the technological revolution can be used for power legitimation, liberation politic, manipulation and social enlightment depending on the users. The media literacy and media in terms of cultural activism at least open the possibility to create participatory democracy that support the individual interest and experience, promote good debate and democratic diversity. This condition open  up the wide range possibilities of developing future cyberdemocracy. It leads to the information superhighways that accomodates the counter discourese environment which is the core of participatory democracy. Thus, Media culture provide new challenges  to build new atmosphere and room for political interaction and discussion, reproducing new alternative form of media and culture, using media to promote social enlighment, and accelerating democratization.  



Kellner, Douglas. (2010). “Budaya Media Cultural Studies, Identitas, dan Politik : antara Modern dan Postmodern”. Yogyakarta : Jalasutra

Strinati, Dominic. (2010). “Popular Culture : Pengantar Teori Menuju Budaya Populer”. Yogyakarta : Ar-Ruzz Media

O’toole, Emer. (2013). “Facebook violently sexist page : opportunity for feminits” . accesed on July 2013 00.30 A.M

Hunt, Carl. (2013). “Carol Hunt : Violent Mysogyny on Facebook is no laughing matter”.  . accesed on July 16, 2013 01.30 A.M

Postfeminism Media Culture : Women Representation in Printed Advertisement Shifts Into Sexual Desirable Object

Postfeminism Media Culture : Women Representation

in Printed Advertisement Shifts Into Sexual Desirable Object

Tori Nuariza Sutanto


Concerning to the relation of women and the advertisement, It is unavoidably connected with the issue of sexism in media. Dyer stated that Advertisement represents women as a traditional stereotype in which feminine, sexual object, male gaze, and subordinate. Women’s appeal often exploit in several levels relates with their beuaty, body, and femininity. In particular, Gill (2007) stated one of the most striking aspects of postfeminist media culture is its obsessional preoccupation with the body. The body is presented simoultenously as women source’s power.


Today, the shifting in the from sexual object to sexual desirable object occured because of the cultural industry. Using body as a commodity is the indicators of how today cultural industry particularly printed adverstisement as a system of sign and symbols that position, constrain, objectify, and sell woman in the consumerist and capitalist society. For instance, Rebecca Hains (2013) critics of a disney princess Merrida who changed to be slimmer and bustier in order to fulfill the sexual desirable object.


The usage of body signs and body representation as commodity in capitalist system of society economically and culturally connected. Economically, advertisements work in the concept of marketing strategy, but culturally, advertisements work within system of ideology. The iconic Disney Princess merely strengthen the idea of sexualization of culture since Barbie has ever been become an icon of blonde woman whose sexually pleasure men. The redesign of new Merrida which is more sexier, bustier, skinnier and mature like what Rebecca Hain stated sent a message of inferiority. The shifting of women in the printed media adverstisement happened, previously where once sexualised representations of women in the media presented them as passive, mute objects of an assumed male gaze, shifted into today sexualization works differrently in many domains, Thus women are not objectified but are presented as active, desiring sexual objects who choose themselves in a seemingly objectified manner because it suits their liberated interests to do so (Goldman, 1992).



Gill, Rosalind (2007). Postfeminist media culture: elements of a sensibility. European journal of cultural studies, 10 (2). pp. 147-166. Sage Publications

Goldman, R. (1992). Reading ads socially. London ; New York, Routledge

Hains, Rebecca. (2013). Disney faces backlash over new “sexy” Merida; pulls new image from web site as aresult.  accesed on July 16, 2013 00.35 A.M

Ang Lee Film Adaption on the Short Story of Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

Ang Lee Film Adaption on the Short Story of

 Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

Tori Nuariza Sutanto

GambarThe Brokeback Mountain introduced on the cinema on the year of 2005. Directed by Ang Lee, this film won the Oscar Awards on the category of best director. Brokeback Mountain Film adopted from the short story entitled Brokeback Mountain written by Annie Proulx. Since, this film won the Oscar awards on the category of  best director, this respond paper would like to analyze and reveal how the Director Ang Lee adopted this film from the Annie Proulx short story.

Continue reading “Ang Lee Film Adaption on the Short Story of Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx”

Occupy Wall Street Movement As a form of Political Disobedience not a 21st Century Thoroeau’s Civil Disobedience

Occupy Wall Street Movement As a form of Political Disobedience not a 21st Century Thoroeau’s Civil Disobedience

Tori Nuariza Sutanto


Occupy  Wall Street Movement (OWS) began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, USA. This movement spread over globally to cities and countries worldwide. OWS movement are fighting for the global capitalism that creates a  collapsed of the global economic particularly in North American countries and Western European countries. Occupy movement has been a debate in the US whether it is considered as a Thoreau’s form civil disobedience or not. This paper aims to describe that Occupy Wall Street Movement is not 21st century form of civil disobedience compared from  Thoreau’s concept of Civil Disobedience in his essay of ‘on the Duty of Civil Disobedience, 1849’



            Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) at the beginning is not publishized by national media, but it spreads out through social media and internet networks. This movement inspired by the pattern of Arab Spring revolution that succeeded to bring down dictatorship regime in Egypt and Tunisia. The participants comes from some of political mainstreams such as left wing activist, environmentalist, feminist, world peace activist, and labor union. OWS movement chooses the New York Wall Street as the  symbol of world economic center of global capitalism. It spreads out to cities, countries, such as Okhlahoma, Seattle, Chigago, Paris, India, Germany, with the same target which  are the symbols of global center economy within cities or countries. According to the official site of Occupy Wall steet movement, They claimed that their movement has spreaded over 100 in United States of America and 1500 cities globally worldwide. Continue reading “Occupy Wall Street Movement As a form of Political Disobedience not a 21st Century Thoroeau’s Civil Disobedience”

Merchantile System in the American Early Colonies

Merchantile Sytem in the American Early Colonies

Tori Nuariza Sutanto


Merchantilism is the political and economic strategic used by the European nations states as a doctrine in the early capitalist era around 1500 to 1850. The goal of this policies was to increase the wealth and power of the mother country by creating a balance between trade and domestic manufacturing. This paper aims to describe how the merchantile system shaped American early colonies. Throughout the paper I intend to demonstrate that the merchantile system create such a rapid change in the colonies ; land expansion, enslavement, forming wealthy elites and etc.  


According to Laura La Hayye, Merchantilism is economic nationalism for the purpose of building a wealthy and powerful state. While Adam Smith tells merchantile system as the system of political economy that sought to enrich the country by restraining imports and encouraging exports. According to the book of History and Economics, The economic trends change from feudalism to merchantilism because three powerful forces ; the rise of the nation states, the commercial revolution, and the decline of the medieval economy. Also, the new ways of thinking about economic activity emphasizes on production.

The emergence of the nation states, move away from feudalism, have a consequence that is a competition among European nation states. Holland, France, Spain, England competed each other to became the most powerful nations. The main point of merchantilism is to increase the wealth of the nations. Those nations were frequently fighting in war. As a consequence, money needed to support their expansion to the other land in terms of military (army and navy). To be wealthier, those nations needed the other nations, states, or city or land to be exploited. Trade, conquest, colonialism, became their ways to increase wealth. Contextually, this condition triggers the commercial revolution which encompasses on the increasing of volume of trade, widened geographical scope of the trade, and creating new products. Continue reading “Merchantile System in the American Early Colonies”

The Effects of Immigration to the Development of the U.S as A Nation

The Effects of Immigration to the Development of the U.S as A Nation  

Tori Nuariza Sutanto




Immigration is completely necessarry part of strategy to improve economic growth and prosperity. If a nation succeeds in  giving prosperity to the citizen, this condition directly influences the development in another aspects because they can solve the prosperity problem.

For good reason, It is often said the United States is a nation of immigrants. Almost every person in the United States is descended from someone who arrived from another country.  It is true that America was built by people who came from Europe a few centuries ago, but are there so many immigrants nows.

According to Blotnick 1987 : 108,  Immigrants come from different countries, speak different languages, have different religious beliefs. But what is different is not necessarily worse, and probably the main thing that distinguishes immigrants is their attitude towards their future.

The causes of immigration

Hatton and Williamson (1998) view immigratio  from a country during this time as being caused by up to five different factors:

 (a) the difference in real wages between the country and the United States

 (b) the rate of population growth in the country 20 or 30 years before

 (c) the degree of industrialization and urbanization in the home country

 (d) the volume of previous immigrants from that country or region

(e) economic and political conditions in the United States.


According to John Carey, 1989 ; 106, “America has a long heritage of welcoming immigrants, and throughout its history, the country has been reshaped and renewed by the talents, energy, and enterprise of new citizens. They may prove to be a critical advantage in the global economic competition of the 1990’s and the early 21st century”.

            This essay aims to reveal the effects of immigration to the development of the United States as a nation. I would like to explore how the effects of certain aspects such as politic, social, culture and economy construct the development of the U.S. This lead to the contradiction whether the immigration give beneficial of bad effects to the United States.

  Continue reading “The Effects of Immigration to the Development of the U.S as A Nation”