Blog Post 7: Issue Mapping

Collaborating and sharing information through mapping exercises has been one of the central activities in this subject, encouraging discussion to condense our materials into smaller streams and categories to further be able to analyse them clearly. The collaboration exercise in concern to mapping the issues started back in week 4, when we had to in two separate large groups generate words associated with the topic refugees.


After generating an insane amount of words which also overlapped in synonymous meanings quite frequently, we tried to then generate the antonym for each of these words in the context of refugees crisis. This proved to be rather challenging and difficult, because often the terms would be nouns and quite hard to define. The group discussed the definition of the term in social and political context, not just in terms of its dictionary meaning – I think it was this aspect that made this exercise a good brainstorm for me because it helped me to see things from a more elevated perspective and understand more about the significance of these similar-feeling but varying terms.


We then tried to condense our mass of words down and pick out the words we felt were most important in representing the issue at hand. The above image portrays our final selection, and I think we ended up with this particular selection of words because they each pinpoint different aspects of social/political/emotional issues that is at fault in the current Australian refugee crisis context. For me all of these words seem to trace back to the issue of empathy, our general public’s lack of empathy and reluctance represented by our political leaders seemed to be the main catalyst in creating our current mess.



In week 5, we partnered up with a different individual and created a mindmap with the focus being ‘Stakeholders and Actors in Refugee Crisis.’ Cassie and I created a map outlining all the key figures we could think of who played a role in the current social/political context of Australia.


The result was a map that seemed intensely interconnected, but it actually helped to clarify a lot of the relationships and the characteristics shared between the key figures (e.g. Murdoch and whistle blowers), as in all previous exercises we tried to focus on analysing the relationship between issues.

For our second class exercise, we teamed up with Ting and Rose to create a comparable list of debates/polemics and emotions.


We presented three examples of debates between key figures, and tried to label and analyse more closely in regards to their emotional root. The exercise helped clarify the relationship, but this exercise felt like it only organised the previous word association exercises in a more neatly presented manner.

Our third exercise involved a mindmap sketching out the link between the stakeholders in terms of polemics.


Overall I feel like this week’s class had been mainly to identify and analyse the key figures in the general context from a more sharpened perspective, trying to provoke us into really thinking about what is going on behind the scenes – who is involved? what is the relationship between each of these figures, if we can trace the link at all? what are some of the qualities they share? how do their relationship affect the refugee context? Although I think the exercise was quite helpful in a way that it pushed us to put things in a more clarified form for a more effective form of discussion, I think it also proved to be a rather quizzical exercise in a sense as well because it left me with a lot of questions unanswered.