Week 3: Marketing Sphere (Annotated Bibliography)
Marketing Sphere Annotated Bibliography
This week, I worked on creating an annotated bibliography for the marketing sphere of my project. My section guiding question is: What types of authors are being promoted by social media apps, specifically Instagram and TikTok, and what are the effects of such promotion on consumers?
Source 1: McCall, Tyler, BookTok’s Racial Bias, https://www.thecut.com/2022/11/booktok-racial-bias-tiktok-algorithm.html
Social media operates on an algorithm in which they identify popular items and continuously push them onto more and more people’s feeds creating a sort of ‘echo-chamber’. TikTok and Instagram are perhaps two of the biggest culprits of this and are often accused of promoting anti-intellectual practices and contents simply because that gains the most engagement. Due to this ‘echo-chamber’ effect, white creators consistently gain more views, comments, and likes on average on TikTok and Instagram because they are seen as the ‘mainstream’ and therefore are pushed by the algorithm onto more feeds. This extends to ‘BookTok’ and authors who are active on social media. According to The Cut, “ Almost every author who has found life-changing success via the platform — six- and seven-figure book deals, weeks and months spent on best-seller lists, headline-making movie contracts — is white.” As TikTok and Instagram have a combination of over 2 billion monthly users, book preferences increasingly narrow as digital merges with literature and people draw recommendations from their favorite apps. This creates a danger for non-mainstream authors whose books don’t neatly fit into a marketable hashtag, genre, and/or demographic.
Source 2: Jaeger, Carla, The secrets of censorship: Key lines cut from Fantastic Beasts in China, https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movies/the-secrets-of-censorship-key-lines-cut-from-fantastic-beasts-in-china-20220413-p5ad78.html
Carla Jaeger reports on China’s censoring of homosexual scenes in the Fantastic Beasts film to preserve their outdated values. “The lines ‘because I was in love with you’ and ‘the summer Gellert and I fell in love; were deleted by Warner Bros.” While Dumbledore is an explicitly gay character, China refused to broadcast his coming out scene to Chinese audiences. In this case, China continues its long history of homophobia and LGBTQ+ existence denial by refusing to allow any of these communities to show up on the screens shown to the Chinese audience. Whole communities and movements are being squashed and looked down upon as China uses its power to shift the stories of American action films easily. In a similar manner, social media algorithms encourage artists not to follow their personal beliefs. In order to increase their book sales they must present themselves in a certain stereotypical manner so that the algorithm recognizes them as ‘marketable’. Like production studios who trade their creative freedom for monetary incentive from the Chinese government, authors must trade their creative freedom for monetary incentive from social media platforms.
Source 3: Gibson, Karen, “Influences on Diversity in Teacher Education: Using Literature to Promote Multiple Perspectives and Cultural Relevance”, ijsotl, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1145198.pdf
Karen M. Gibson conducts a study with 120 children to test the effects of a diverse arrangement of literature on student learning abilities. Observing classroom discussions as well as homework and writing assignments, Gibson found that students are better able “to intelligently question, challenge and appreciate values and ideas within text” and generally develop more mature critical thinking skills as well as broader world perceptions. This positive analysis of diversity within literature brings more urgency to the phenomenon of the meshing of social media and literature. It may have the power to exacerbate already strongly-established echo-chambers and encourage people to actually develop narrower mindsets. Collaboration and intellectual and rational thinking will decrease.
Thank you so much for reading! Next week I will work on the third and final section of my project as well as start expanding and compiling all my sources.