Taking spoofs seriously: Spoofs as counter-narratives in volunteer discourse
This article explores how the theoretical framework of “counter-narrative” can be a resource for the analysis of spoofing videos. Using spoofs deployed by activist organizations to critique Western aid appeals and “voluntourism,” we 1) investigate the intertextual mechanisms of spoof videos as counter-narrative and how spoofers borrow generic conventions and use them to create alternative narratives, and 2) discuss the consequences of their cultural depictions, for example, for the discourse of volunteering, which we examine here, particularly in light of tendencies toward self-reflecting campaigns identified by Chouliaraki (2013). Through these understandings, we draw lessons about the counter-narrative potential of spoofs used as critique and edification and their ambivalent status as counter-narratives. As critiques, they may hold a mirror to viewers’ self-perceptions and motivations. Yet, this self-reflexive strategy carries the risk of self-congratulatory complicity with the genres they seek to critique and the discourses and power relations upon which they depend
Abbott, P. H. (2008). The Cambridge introduction to narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Acevedo, G. A., Ordner, J., & Thompson, M. (2010). Narrative inversion as a tactical framing strategy: The ideological origins of the Nation of Islam. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 125-153.
Andrews, M. (2004). Counter-narratives and the power to oppose. In M. Bamberg, & M. Andrews (Eds.), Considering counter-narratives. Narrating, resisting, making sense (pp. 1-6). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Angod, L. (2015). What is missing from the call to “End Humanitarian Douchery.” Retrieved from: https://medium.com/@leilangod/what-is-missing-from-the-call-to-end-humanitarian-douchery-4d0c673dfb18#.wk90rcxrx
Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The dialogic imagination. Four essays. Trans. M. C. Emerson, & M. Holmquist. M. Holmquist (Ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press.
Bamberg, M. (1997). Positioning between structure and performance. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7, 1-4.
Bamberg, M. (2004). Considering counter-narratives. In E. M. Bamberg, & M. Andrews (Eds.), Considering counter-narratives. Narrating, resisting, making sense (pp. 351-371). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Bamberg, M., & Andrews, M. (2004). Considering counter-narratives: Narrating, resisting, making sense. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Berthon, P. R., & Pitt, L. F. (2012). Brands and burlesque: Toward a theory of spoof advertising. Academy of Marketing Science, 2, 88-98.
Campaign to End Humanitarian Douchery [Changed to #endhumanitariandouchery.] (2015). If Voluntourists talked about North America. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8GZjZTZrWA
Chouliaraki, L. (2013). The ironic spectator. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Cole, T. (2012). The white-savior industrial complex. The Atlantic Monthly Online, 21, 1-2.
Cornett, J. M. (2010). A dialogue commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird’s publication: Atticus Finch, Christian or civic hero? A response to Professor McMillian. Tennessee Law Review, 77(4), 701-802.
Coupe, W. A. (1969). Observations on a theory of political caricature. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 11(1), 79-95.
Deville Late Night. (2017). Switzerland second. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reuJ8yVCgSM
Frandsen, S., Kuhn, T., & Lundholt, M. W. (2017). Counter-narratives and organization. London: Routledge.
Gabriel, Y. (2016). Narrative ecologies and the role of counter-narratives: The case of nostalgic stories and conspiracy theories. In S. Frandsen, T. Kuhn, & M. W. Lundholt (Eds.), Counter-narrative and organizations (pp. 208-225). London: Routledge.
Georgakopoulou, A. (2015). Sharing as rescripting: Place manipulations on YouTube between narrative and social media affordances. Discourse, Context and Media, 9, 64-72.
Greenpeace. (2014). LEGO: Everything is not awesome. Retrieved from: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9RZgMYwQXNpMEdCc09qYmdKTlU/view
Hall, C. M., & Raymond, E. M. (2008). The development of cross-cultural (mis)understanding through volunteer tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 16(5), 530-543.
Halverson, J. R., Goodall, H. L. Jr., & Corman, S. R. (2011). Master narratives of Islamist extremism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hughey, M. W. (2010). The white savior film and reviewers’ reception. Symbolic Interaction, 33(3), 475-496.
Jefferess, D. (2013). Humanitarian relations: Emotion and the limits of critique. Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, 7(1), 73-83.
Johansen, T. S. (2016). Countering the “natural” organizational self on social media. In S. Frandsen, T. Kuhn, & M. W. Lundholt (Eds.), Counter-narrative and organizations (pp. 64-82). London: Routledge.
Kushner, J. (2016, 22 March). The voluntourist’s dilemma. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/22/magazine/the-voluntourists-dilemma.html
Lessig, L. (2008). Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy. New York: Penguin.
Lundholt, M. (2017). Fabric of counter-narratives: Agency and ventriloquism. European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management, 4 (3/4), 316-325.
Lundholt, M., Maagaard, C., & Piekut, A. (forthcoming, 2018). Counternarratives. International encyclopedia of strategic communication. New York: Wiley.
Maier, C. (2015). Aspects of multimodal knowledge communication in corporate videos. Consequences of new video configurations. Unpublished lecture given at the seminar Corporate Storytelling in an Intercultural Perspective arranged by the Network for Corporate Storytelling. 2 October.
McGehee, N., & Santos, C. (2005). Social change, discourse, and volunteer tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 32(3), 760-779.
McGehee, N. G. (2012). Oppression, emancipation, and volunteer tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 39(1), 84-107.
Natholdet. (2017). Denmark trumps Holland at being number two. Retrieved from:
Ortega, R. D. (2014). Spoof trailers, hyperlinked spectators & the web. New Media and Society, 16(1), 149-164.
Piekut, A. (2017). Brown eyes are not the same as blue eyes. Narrative Inquiry 27(2), 378-397.
Rabinowitz, P. (1976). Truth in fiction: A re-examination of audiences. Critical Inquiry, 4, 121-141.
RollBizTV. (2017) Parody of United Airlines commercial Superior Class. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQUkew2LInY
SAIH. (2012). Let’s save Africa! – Gone wrong. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbqA6o8_WC0
SAIH. (2014). Who wants to be a volunteer? Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymcflrj_rRc
SAIH. (2016). Radiaid. Africa for Norway. Retrieved from: https://saih.no/english/our-work/campaign/radiaid-africa-for-norway
SAIH. (2018). Who we are. Retrived from: https://saih.no/english/who-we-are
Saunders, R. A. (2014). Spoofing. In S. Attardo (Ed.), Encyclopedia of humor studies (pp. 730-732). Los Angeles & London: SAGE Publications.
Stanley, C. A. (2007). When counter narratives meet master narratives in the journal editorial-review process. Educational Researcher, 36(1), 14-24.
Straubhaar, R. (2014). The stark reality of the “White Saviour” complex and the need for critical consciousness: A document analysis of the early journals of a Freirean educator. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 45(3), 381-400.
Sullivan, N. (2017). The trouble with medical “voluntourism” Scientific American, May 16. Retrieved from: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-trouble-with-medical-voluntourism/
Tripp & Tyler. (2013). A revolutionary new one for one campaign. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jx0ZjAXWwQ
Vanden Bergh, B. G., Lee, M., Quilliam, E. T., et al. (2011). The multidimensional nature and brand impact of user-generated ad parodies in social media. International Journal of Advertising 30(1), 103-131.
Vera, H., & Gordon, A. M. (2003). The beautiful American: Sincere fictions of the white messiah in Hollywood movies. In A.W. Doane, & E. Bonilla-Silva (Eds.), White out: The continuing significance of racism (pp. 113-128). New York: Routledge.
Zondag met Lubach. (2017). The Netherlands welcome Trump in his own words. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELD2AwFN9Nc
Articles submitted to MedieKultur should not be submitted to or published in other journals. Articles published in MedieKultur may be used (downloaded) and reused (distributed, copied, cited) for non-commercial purposes with reference to the authors and publication host.
The authors and MedieKultur own the copyright to the published articles and reviews.