{post 7} the process of mapping.

mapping process. reflection. judith tan.

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(Julie 2016)

Before I scraped the web, for over a period of two to three weeks, the homelessness collaboration group I am working with went through several brainstorming sessions to write and map out what we had individually learned thus far. The purpose was to gain different and broader perspectives from each other’s research and points of view.

Continue reading “{post 7} the process of mapping.”

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POST 7: Issue mapping

by Jansie Vo

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The collaborative workshop is a series of mapping exercises in class considering in the relationship of team composition, effective communication, distribution, and co-ordination in order to help build deeper understanding into the issue, allows each member has an opportunity to speak and share understanding by brainstorming to toward insightful outcomes. My group members had different approach in mental health placing the issue in different angles that helped me to uncover the best information and the learning goes much deeper. In terms of collaborative group, we found that a powerful approach to understanding the stakeholders that were identified in relationships with the key words related to mental health, who/which influencers who/which to develop appropriate messages to connect with them. From this brainstorming, the most voted words were related to negative emotion and behavior ‘invisible’, ‘exhausted’, ’victim’, ‘judgement’, ‘stress’, majority affects the individuals through social media.

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It was interesting in controversy mapping involves the conflict between economic benefit and humanities progress in mental health. From the feedback from our tutor, I keep working on the actor mapping, and focus on specific area of my depression issue. I chose to analyse the international student as an actor of Mental Health cause Australia is host to many thousands of international students of an age when mental illnesses are most likely to surface, has influence much in emotional and physical well-being.

During group process, we together pointed out and clarified a variety of paticipants such as medicare, policies, and social media, education, school, family and individuals that look beyond helping me with a problem, emphasize action and influence as well as reaction and adaption on mental illness.

What I learned from the collaborative workshop is a number of learning roles and ability to establish the relationship to the other team members and negotiale in group discussion. I feel these exercises especially actor mapping are very helpful to understand the issue not only one side but see the issue in many different angles in the relationship of stakeholders and the importance of actor on mental health fiels to get correct answer involving to mental illness. I further gained more comprehensive deep knowledge of the mental health issue and identify what I missed within secondary research. This will help me to identify the problem I want to target for engagement. Thus, to solve the mental health issue, whether it’s creating a call to action, influencing their thinking and decision, making or targeting some kind of behaviour change, now focusing on developing the campaign messages according to each individual’s level of interest and influence. From the things we explored, I will further gain more insight of my design proposition.

Post 7: Issue mapping of mental health

By Yu Zhang


In week 3, we briefly did the mapping exercises of stakeholders that engage with mental health, the keywords and categories were still very broad. So in week 4, we tried to collect any of words that’s relate to mental health and used it to develop a map. The map shows lots of contents that’s more specific than the week 3 mapping exercises, and most of words are able to use it in social media to collect useful information about mental health.

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During the process, all of our group was voted 5 words that you might use it to research for mental health, and the most popular words includes ‘exhausted’, ‘invisible’,’victim’, ‘judgement’ etc.. Most of the words are relate to emotion and negative behavior and quite popular in social network, which is easy to search the sources from internet.

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After that, our group decided to use the chosen 5 words to extend it with different words to make it more specific. During the process, I found it individuals, media, and society suits all of 5 words, which means these words can be the top of category of mental health. However, even some of words are not relevant to some chosen words, but they might relate to word from the category of chosen words. The map is more like a connection system that contacts each other to engage with mental health, which is a huge data if collect them all.

Overall, I think this mapping exercise is really useful. I achieved lots of words that can use for research the issue in different platforms, understand further about mental illness and how to classify words to develop an information system. I can reread this map anytime if I get stuck to research and write a blog, which is really useful and convenient.


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In week 5, the mapping exercise requires us to be even more specific. Firstly, our group design to base on ‘Lack of knowledge’ to start mapping. During the discussion of our group, knowledge is related to different fields of mental health, includes medicare, policies, and social media. It might have a potential to provide a map with more depth and clear content that can help our visual design responses individually. The exercise is very intensive during the process, but it’s very useful for me after we developed the map because I have deep understood of the filed of lack of knowledge in mental health.

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We also start mapping that involves to controversy. Basically, the main focus of our mapping is history and communication. For example, Past VS Present, Religion VS Culture and Social Status VS Economic Situation. During the discuss, our group considers the issue of mental health is the conflict between economic benefit and humanities progress. I found that the conflict is suitable for most of the controversy of mental health, and that’s why the direction of mapping focused on Needs VS Wants, which can discover that desire is the root to promote the current situation of mental health. It’s very useful for me after developed this map, it guides me to have more hints for my inspiration and understanding of the issue.

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Base on what we found from the previous mapping exercises, our group decided to develop further on the controversy of Needs VS Wants. It felt like most of the elements that we found are back to the original mapping exercises. For example, education, family, and media also appear in the first mapping exercises. It looks like the content of mental health is more like a network that all of the content will extend to the beginning. That make me understand that the depth of content for mental health does not exist because the content lives around our life, which means no matter how to refine the content to be more specific, it will still guide you back to the first content that you extend.IMG_2248.JPG

I choose ‘Sexual Assault’ as the actor to develop this map. The reason I choose it because this actor can specifically relate to my first three positions, which are awareness, fear, and external factors. Also, it can involve lots of human and non-human stakeholders, includes family, pressure,equality, individual etc. Also, all of these stakeholders are able to connect to each other that might develop a specific proposition for mental health. However, this actor faces a specific crowd, which is women. I believe narrow down the actor to be more specific, I would have a clear idea of the draft proposal and visual style of the design response.


Reflection:

The issue mapping exercises are really intensive but help me to understand much further about mental health. It’s very good to share different opinions in a group that give me a chance to collect the data and communicate the issue with group members. Also, it helps me to achieve different opinions about the issue from group members in the discussion, that’s why I like the process of conversation during develop the maps. I was worry about the depth of content might affect the quality of my design concept, but after the exercises, I understand the issue is more like a net that you just need to choose which position you want to express. Also, the functions of mapping are what I achieved from this workshop, especially mapping with controversy can provide a comprehensive content as the result and able to discover the root of issue. I think this function is very useful for research most of issue, but users need to pick and arrange the sources carefully because the quantity of content from issue mapping is a lot. How to choose the suitable sources and reflect it on graphic style is what I need to consider further. On the other hand, I can use the mapping functions to gain more elements when I get stuck. However, it’s always good to have more sources that I might work on for the theme of issue. I will consider developing a map that base on one theme to develop it further instead of just start mapping the issue because the result come out will be more specific instead of too broad. Also, I will consider developing the map that involves controversy and actors with questions that can gain further information and connection in different but relevant areas in the future.

POST 7: Issue mapping

Co-creating controversy maps was a great way to quickly gain a broad understanding of the topic at hand. Interestingly, although both my partner and I had undertaken prior research on the subject we had both focused on very different areas of online privacy. The task of co-creating these visualisations helped identify nuances within our research and allowed us to come to a more holistic understanding of the topic. In addition to sharing knowledge, it was also interesting to get another student’s opinion on the divisive issue of online privacy. Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of online privacy was valuable as it allowed us to identify the variety of arguments that stakeholders have expressed about the issue. With that being said, the actual output of the mapping activity has not been particularly helpful to informing my design approach. Although I found it useful to discuss the issue of online privacy with another student, the maps we created are all but indecipherable. Based on my observation of other group’s maps, this is not a unique problem. I feel as though the way the controversy maps were introduced, coupled with limited time we had to complete them promoted a singular approach; write everything and anything you can about the topic as fast as possible. While this method did create large sprawling visualisations, it discounted a lot of the subtly and nuance that exists within complex problems. An example of this narrow focus is evident in our stakeholder map, which based on our tutor’s direction, focused on individual organisations. I feel a better, albeit more challenging approach would have been to look at broad categories of stakeholders. Doing this would have allowed us to better focus on their interests rather than on their identity, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding of the problem.

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This map was generated from earlier stakeholder maps seen in post 3. Building on from that, it looks at the emotions behind each issue and the motivations behind the various stakeholders. Interestingly the word which came up the most was control; governments want control over their population, companies want control over their share price, and users want control of their data.

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I found this mapping concept very confusing to wrap my head around and thus did not generate a good outcome. This mind map builds upon the previous exercise, and incorporates stakeholders into the equation in relation to the issue of national security. The main takeout from this activity was that the media is highly influential in people’s perception of state sponsored data surveillance.

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This image looks at two actor mind maps we were able to work through. In this case, two actors vehemently opposed to the others actions. This visualisation highlights the motivations of each party, and how their different ideological views inform their actions in regards to online privacy, data surveillance and data security. It was also interesting to look at how they work around the restrictions placed upon them by their environment.

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This map shows all the actors; human and non-human associated with the issue of online privacy. This visualisation was more useful than some of the other mind maps as it provided a detailed framework around which to dissect our topic. Of particular interest in this map is the idea that data collected from users is a commodity. This raises interesting questions about how data is used as a new form of currency in the information age.

 

Post 5 — A Matter of Opinion

Since the beginning of this subject, I have been engaging in a number of different class tasks that have provided a deeper insight and understanding of my topic of interest, Asylum seekers and refugees. Last weeks tasks encouraged myself to become more engaged with others to discover how attitudes are swayed and/or formed by people from different demographics. During this research, I conducted an interview with two fellow students who had a basic understanding of asylum seekers and refugees.

INTERVIEW

I began the interview by asking what the interviewee believed to be legitimate reasons for someone seeking refuge. The response was interesting as they believed that a person may not necessarily be fleeing war or persecution — they could also be escaping economic instability, lack of educational resources, drugs and other severe situations that may occur in more developed countries.

The interview followed by questioning what they perceived to be the most ‘legal’ way of seeking refuge. One responder acknowledged that it is a difficult question as the issue is so complicated. There is a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy involved in claiming for refugee status, and too often, people in desperate situations don’t have the opportunity or time to do so the ‘proper’ way. The second interviewee also added that in many cases, asylum seekers aren’t aware of Australia’s current offshore processing policies — if they were aware, they wouldn’t have come.

The conversation then steered towards how asylum seekers may effect Australia and our economy, lifestyle, jobs, culture, community etc. The respondent answered that Sydney is becoming a really expensive posh area that is not economically diverse. There are new CBDs popping up, such as the inner west and Parramatta where populations and new jobs are increasing. I mentioned an article I read about a 2nd generation immigrant explaining that Australia has so much land and so many resources; he called it the land of plenty. The interviewees replied that indeed Australia has a vast amount of land that is unused, however a lot of it is harsh uninhabitable. However, they added that if we used this land more effectively, we would have a lot more give. It was also mentioned that the reason why refugees may affect the community negatively is because of tension caused by fear. This ‘fear’ seems to make a predictable pattern and is more apparent when large numbers of migrants resettle to form ethnic communities within Australia. I asked if this is a bad thing. The interviewee responded that it definitely is not a bad thing, but rather very beneficial — different races bring new insights, cultural traditions, cuisines and celebrations that we can all enjoy. Multiculturalism is what makes Australia so great.

I then focused on one of my areas of interest, which examines what factors influence attitudes and opinions. The interviewee stated that obviously the media plays a massive role in influencing how the public think by what they show, and interestingly what they do not show. At all of the asylum seeker detention centres, there are strict no photography/filming policies, which makes you wonder what they don’t what people to see. Perhaps if people could see the conditions and treatment of these refugees, then they might be more sympathetic. It was interesting when the interviewee also mentioned that language and discourse plays a vital role in representing refugees. The increasing number of migrants is often seen as potentially dangerous and something to be cautious, particularly when words such as ‘swarm’, ‘epidemic’, ‘influx’ and ‘tide’ are used.

PROBES
To follow up with this interview, I asked the interviewees to participate in a probing task, where they would collect a weeks worth of data in the context of their everyday social media activities. The probe (which I now realise is probably the same as 95% of everyone else researching asylum seekers/refugees) was to save any social media posts relating to asylum seekers and screenshot the comments that respond to it. Despite the lack of originality of my probe, it focuses my area of interest (which now that I think about it, most other students are probably focusing on this area too) — that is researching how attitudes and opinions are formed and/or swayed.
I found the one of the more interesting and conflicting comments were from a New York Times article, titled ‘After Paris Attacks, Vilifying Refugees’. People had not only commented on the article, but they also responded to other peoples commentary, sparking lengthy and open online debates. The vast majority of the comments were either strongly pro or anti refugee with little room for having a neutral stance. This often resulted in insults being hurled towards people with opposing views.
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Similarly, on a youtube video titled ‘The Rise of ISIS and the Refugee Crisis’ by talk host John Oliver, I found the comments to be very intriguing, but also very exhausting to read (image below). Initially they were very insightful and I found myself wanting to join in on the conversation. However, the debate quickly turned into a heated exchange of insults (which was not surprising for Youtube), revealing more about the person behind the obscure username. I continued reading through the comments, though now I wasn’t sure if my motive was for research or because I just found it slightly humorous; that these people were arguing for hours with complete strangers with no possibility of changing each others obstinate views.
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Youtube Comments from John Oliver’s video, ‘The Rise of ISIS and the Refugee Crisis’
Informal pieces of text, such as simple comments to a video or news article, are a useful source of research to gather in terms of discovering underlying bias and pre-conceptions. As the exchange between NeulNeul Lee, Arnold and oasis fan continued, more was revealed about their attitudes and why they think that way about refugees. One individuals stance was heavily influenced by their empathy with refugees, and often defended how they are negatively portrayed by the media, politicians and in public discourse. Another commentator was as equally passionate about the issue, however they had a completely conflicting perspective and supported their argument with quotes, facts and statistics that negatively represented asylum seekers.
Another set of results from the probes were inspirational and empathetic stories about refugees. It was interesting to see the Facebook pages/groups that the participant for this task received her material from. The pages that we ‘like’ or follow on social media accounts determines what information we are exposed to and definitely influences our perspective on the topic.
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REFLECTION
From these tasks, I observed that people seem to be more vocal of their opinions on social media than in reality and daily conversations. I believe this is due to the anonymity of being online as well as having the time to articulate themselves through writing. Online conversations also grants instant access to the internet, which enables them to justify their opinions and quickly rebut.
I feel as though both interview and the probe provided a deeper insight of how attitudes and opinions are formed by people of different demographics. However, there is definitely room for improvement with my interviewing technique — I feel as though I was much too involved and often averted silences with my own personal input.