Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nike iD

As I was researching for my paper in Professor Proctor's class, I came across in Chapter 10 (The culture jamming chapter in the alternative media handbook) an email exchange. This email exchange discusses how a graduate student went to customize a Nike shoe with Nike iD with the word sweatshop in it. Here is the article:

Once I read this dispute, I was shocked. I understand that this student wanted to do it for a reaction but I cannot(can) believe that Nike discussed it as a regular automated response that they always do. This proves that the media conglomerates have rights to interfere with "culture jamming" because they own the channel in which we are trying t be divergent. I cannot believe that someone was gutsy enough to attempt to make a shoe. I feel like the person made a point, and made people aware who werent before that the shoes are made in sweatshops, but unfortunately it didnt change their sales or make them stop utilizing workers for cheap in a different country. If anything, it did make people more aware. It also makes me feel bad that for christmas two years ago my boyfriend and I customized shoes with Nike iD as our presents for eachother. It truly makes me feel bad and from now on when I look at that shoe I will think that someone had to get paid a few cent a day to make my boyfriend and my shoes. It also makes me realize that probably most of my shoes are made in sweatshops which makes me question: how much do i need those shoes?

Back to my point though Jonah Peretti chose a unique approach to increase awareness of the sweatshop issue and it worked. It hit the mainstream but in a positive way that created understanding and criticial thinking. It also added to the anti-sweatshop activists. In my opinion what he did was a form of culture jamming indeed.

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