Inicio > Congresos Online > Congreso Online 2013 > The Trans-nationalization of Ethics > The Trans-nationalization of Ethics: Influence Entertainment Industry on Education and identity formation

The Trans-nationalization of Ethics: Influence Entertainment Industry on Education and identity formation

por Rossatto, Cesar


The globalizing world we live in is driven by the market and corporate power, which dictate norms and ethic coding that transmigrate borders through communication and entertaining means. It carries disciplinable stand of standards and competitiveness guiding force that shape behavior and believes. Children all over the world are becoming more alike than ever before and their sense of identity is fashioned by corporate media, (Foley, in Rossatto, 2011). Having in consideration this international context this presentation question what are human ethics and democratic practices when media is a powerful factory curriculum model? How people can construct together ethical modus operandi and/or modus vivendi within the globalization of western capitalist values? How can people exercise transformative intellectual leadership with democratic praxis, that foster citizenship and cultural responsiveness? If we assume that it is not necessarily what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of global changes, then how is ethics is defined, according to whom? What are the dominant, traditional, and conservative ways of thinking about Ethics? How is it different from a critical postmodern and more democratic way?

Once Plato said that “laws are obsolete,” because those that have integrity and are honest, and honorable human beings do not need it, since they know how to do the “right thing”. In contrast, those who need most find a way around it. Case in point, Brazilian politicians recently try to pass a bill PEC 37 where they would have “immunization from justice,” thus in order to get away from responding to political crimes, they tried to lower the power of judiciary system. Fortunately the population mobilizations sway the bill to be voted down. But in other countries even the law or public policies had been deviated from what is ethical, as long as society accepts it, and since masses can be corrupted, indoctrinated, and brainwashed, masses of people can be manipulated and control, case in point slavery, racial apartheid, nazism among other oppressive and criminal initiatives induced into policy. Evidently historical communication means, mass media and entertainment film industry profile much of these populations perceptions, beliefs, and sense of identity.

So what is Ethics?

Ethical principles include standards relating to rights, such as the right to have a voice, the right to freedom, the right to obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues, which may imply standards that enact the reasonable obligations to refrain from crime, by enjoin virtues of honesty, compassion, and loyalty; supported by consistent and well-founded reasons. Ethics refers to the study and development of one’s ethical standards. So it is necessary to constantly examine one’s standards to ensure that they are reasonable and well-founded. It requires a continuous effort of studying our own moral beliefs and our moral conduct, and striving to ensure that we, and the institutions we help to form, live up to standards that are reasonable and solidly-based, (Velasquez, and others 2010).

Conservative versus Critical Progressive Versions of Ethics

When examining these issues of contemporary ethics within global context, new notions of solidarity and ethics should challenge post-colonial, post-modern and post-structural practices. In particular, when it is defined as the desire for outward life search, rather than inward, seems to be the replacement for the decline of conventional ethical principles. This conservative set ethics are induced disciplines that establishes approval or disproval of conducts based on perceptions within privileges molded by those in position of power. Thus, standard conformity to ideals maintains a status quo, which lacks equity and participation of so-called “minority” groups.

This problematic social stratification indicates that dominant groups benefit most and disenfranchised ones are subjugated to the struggle of oblivion survival, surveillance, and silence, which in term induce people to a deceitful ethic. One illustration of this culture of surveillance can be found on the movies such as: Enemies of the State and Matrix. The pursuit of happiness within western values and such environment prove to be counterproductive (Kluger, 2013; Spring, 2011).

Therefore, there is a major need in our contemporary society for a moral philosophy based on solidarity, where the inner compassionate reciprocal principle is the foundation that fosters critical consciousness, which assures all group members of society an equal opportunity for inclusion. It is a mutual giving and receiving experience embedded in dialectic ethical construction which empowers citizens to participate and be responsible, out of a commitment to the community membership where also no one is left behind.

Ethics of collective solidarity perspectives have historical social possibilities to transform surveillance endurances into spaces of inclusion; where every person can become historical agents rather than passive instruments of the status quo.

This new ethics’ construct has an internal fruition based on critical thinking, conscientization, and emancipation. Since democracy precludes equality, social justice, and liberation, sovereignty for those in disenfranchised positions is the primordial necessity for democratic practices.

Education in this liberating context is an emancipatory educational experience that validates the knowledge students bring with them and generate new ones dialectically. In this effort to construct humane values, self-determination and self-realization rather than the imprisonment to capitalist exploitation and its interests, the use of discipline can be seen as means to serve humanity as opposed to the contrary. In this sense, one could ask: Should the rules serve human beings or human beings should serve the rules?

Therefore, this presentation examines how can an examination of repressive territoriality control mechanism reveal its impact on social constructs? How can alternative possibilities be organized around the notion of exercising critical questioning? Can a change in curriculum theory foster praxis for social justice? The new alternative education ought to facilitate active inquiry and research, contrary to one education of passivity, where students are fed with a supposed given knowledge (Purpel, 1989: 153-154).

If ethics in movies is seen as a guiding belief of a person, a group, or institutions, dictated by a structured system of moral standards, or lack of it, one needs to question: whose standards? Whose standards oppressed others? Who are left behind? Who are most affected? Who benefit? Whose interests are served?

What are the differences between conservative versions of ethics and critical progressive ones?

From a conservative neoliberal ideology ethics is constructed out of top down approaches. For instance, according to a republican version such as Ronald Reagan or William Bennett and present government dominant discourses, ethics would mean the necessity to discipline, punish, or to train in order to correct, mold, or to perfect moral characters. This is a form of control gained by those in position of domination to enforce obedience or order, which had been amply induced in films.

Ethics is exercised for orderly purposes to prescribe social conduct and to influence pattern of behavior. Ethics in this sense is a given set of regulations in a system of rules governing conduct or it is an activity to impose order upon its members.

Character in this context is defined and developed by disciplinable means. It becomes a docile subject of self and collective surveillance in order to increase productive functions within a systematic society controlled by economic dictates, which integrate humans into a disciplinary mechanism to make their life functional and to fulfill individualistic personal goals out of contracts with the society and the movie industry just does that, portrait a self-centered society as the norm.

From a critical progressive stand point, ethics means an effort to create a less unfair society, where all human beings can feel good and affirmed when together or when interacting with each other.

It means that one can be open toward others, understand the differences and similarities and be able to thrive with them, be able to get along. It is not as much a matter of who we are but where we are consciously or the level of awareness developed that defines a healthy collective sense of community. This can be constructed through collective human conscientization or critical awareness of ethos (guiding ethics) and its formation and evolution under natural or ontological conditions, where character evolves out of integrity, committed to self and collective actions.

Character is defined and developed by the exercise of each group member’s agency, critical thinking, and active participation in his/her and the group’s history. Liberation movement for Latin Americans can only be authentic if they are liberated from the domination exercised by first world countries, such as United States and its allies. The development of compassion and ethics involves the whole person in quest for justice implying a need for a keener awareness, which requires a deep study about the truth in regards to the universe we live in.

Therefore, by uncovering the problems to find workable solutions the educational experience allied with justice-making should foster a dialogue between science and spirituality through critical consciousness (Purpel, 1989: 121). A critical progressive vision of ethics for teachers is one where teachers bring about the best on all students, rather than searching for what they are doing wrong. Instead of working from a disciplinable stand, teachers facilitate democratic practices, one in which students with the teacher construct together the ethical modus operandi or modus vivendi.

In this new humanistic version the genuine and uniqueness of each classroom members flourish; as opposed to the version driven by the market or corporate state where standards and competitiveness push humans against each other. In order to make this outcome possible, teachers need to learn to exercise their transformative intellectual leadership through democratic praxis, not merely to or for the students but with them, by embracing the totality of their cultural, ethical, and citizenship life experiences. One in which student act “glocally” think globally and act locally to transcend the trans-nationalization of induce oppressive ethics by corporate media and films, to build a sense of self that is culturally responsive and not invasive, where students are force to internalize whiteness, patriarchy, and or capitalist dominant sense of identity. This presentation will expand on these ideas mentioned here.


Foley, D. (2011). Studying Youth Cultures: Some Reflections. In Teaching for a global
community: Overcoming the divide and conquer strategies of the oppressor. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing Inc.

Spring, J. (2011). A new paradigm for global schooling. In Teaching for a global
community: Overcoming the divide and conquer strategies of the oppressor. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing Inc.

Kluger, J. (2013). The Happiness of Pursuit. Time, New York, NY.(pp. 24-45).

Purpel, D. (1989). The moral and spiritual crises in education. New York, NY: Bergin and

Velasquez, M., Andre, C., Shanks, T., S.J., and Meyer, M. J. (2010). What is Ethics? Issues in
Ethics IIE V1 N1 (Fall 1987).



Titulo Original:




Otros comentarios del mismo autor: