For my dissertation, I am going to try to tackle the question ‘To what extent does Social Responsibility impact on the role and function of Graphic Design?’. Social responsibility is an ethical framework and suggests that we all have an obligation to act for the benefit of the whole of society. It is a duty that every individual has to perform to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems.
I have decided on this question as I am most interested in this subject as I have a strong belief in social responsibility. There are multiple routes I could go down, such as social responsibility, cultural responsibility, environmental responsibility and economical responsibility, however the main point I would stick to would be social responsibility, which has many subcategories in itself.
Feminism will be the main basis of this essay. I have decided to base it on feminism, as I have written very briefly about it in COP2 and it was a subject that I found really interesting. There are wide number of women that fight for justice within the creative industry, such as Sarah Lucas, Tracey Emin and the anonymous activists The Guerrilla Girls.
Along with this, however, there are a lot of other social responsibilities I can cover. One of these is racism. Racism has been featured within art through-out history, whether it was in paintings where the servants with black, or even the representation of black people in performance arts, such as the use of ‘blackface’ in the 19th century. Racism still exists today within the creative industry, such as a month ago a new advert for GAP and Ellen Degeneres was deemed racist as the white child was resting her arm on the black child’s head.
Another point I could cover is the representation of social minorities within art. This is also something that I have briefly covered in COP2 and it is something that I really want to learn more about. In my previous essay, I covered briefly AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia), which is a comic created in protest of Clause 28. I think it would be really interesting to look into homophobia and transphobia further.
This essay can also cover mental illness, something I am creating a campaign for in OUGD505. Mental illness is often ignored by a lot of people as it isn’t a visible illness to anyone on the outside. These people suffering are often mocked, for example Urban Outfitters brought out a t-shirt with the word ‘Depression’ written across it. They have also brought out other belittling t-shirts, such as a t-shirt with the words ‘Eat Less’ on it. Not only is this damaging for people suffering with these illnesses, it also encourages people to be unhealthy and deform their body to fit with what is considered ‘beautiful’.