‘You’re not just learning it, you’re living it!’: Constructing the ‘good life’ in Australian university online promotional videos

Gottschall, Kristina and Saltmarsh, Sue (2017) ‘You’re not just learning it, you’re living it!’: Constructing the ‘good life’ in Australian university online promotional videos. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 38 (5). pp. 768-781. ISSN 0159-6306

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Online promotional videos on Australian university websites are a form of institutional branding and marketing that construct university experience in a variety of ways. Here we consider how these multimedia texts represent student lifestyles, identities and aspirations in terms of the ‘good life’. We consider how the ‘promise of happiness’ is deployed to appeal to perceived consumer desires within the local student market, as well as within the highly competitive global knowledge economy. These texts position university students as youthful, attractive, active and
fun, and depict student life as being about leisure and pleasure. Such representations promote cultural and social entitlement to the ‘good life’ as if synonymous with choice, participation and success in higher education. Learning and scholarship are depicted as secondary activities. We also contend that claims to cosmopolitanism and consumerism are framed by racialised entitlements where Whiteness remains both a commodity and norm.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2017 00:19
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 03:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: branding strategies; marketing higher education; visual culture; student as consumer; university choice
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950205 Visual Communication
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2016.1158155
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30217

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