Our Pillars in Popular Media

What do we mean by...

Our Pillars in Popular Media?

We here at CD4Peace admire the idea that human brains seek out connection and patterns in similar ways, however, we also understand that everyone's brains operate differently, especially when ingesting new and complex information. The inspiration for this project came from the knowledge that students of International Relations and associated fields are also fans of movies, TV shows, and books. And that these media expressions could contain the connections and patterns our brains seek to establish. We believe that it is possible for everyone to understand our principles: Cultural Diversity, Sustainable Development, and Peace-Building. While it may be helpful to start off with some simple research surrounding these ideas, we think that one need not dig through piles of scholarly articles to find examples of each of these, as they are more than abundant in popular media. This 'data-base' is only the tip of the iceberg and its goal is to inspire you to search for pieces of media that hold further examples of these three guiding concepts. Please recognize that our scope is incredibly broad and covers both works of fiction and non-fiction.

Cultural Diversity in Media?

When we speak of cultural diversity in media we are discussing several features. Movies, TV shows, and books that are culturally diverse include casts that are inclusive of race, religion, sexuality, societal expectations, etc. These forms of media include multiple expressions of differing cultures and dialogue that surrounds them, discussions that focus on different cultural perspectives are vital to a piece of media being considered culturally diverse. The setting is also important to culturally diverse forms of media, settings that embrace and show off the influence on a society that is culturally diverse are the backbone of a piece of media. It is crucial that a piece of media show off culturally important locations within the settings. It is also important that these inclusions are done respectfully. 

Sustainable Development in Media?

When we speak of sustainable development in media we are mainly focused on how that piece of media handles the fulfilment or lack thereof with respect to one or more sustainable development goals. Movies, TV shows, and books that include sustainable development often have plots driven by SDGs, whether they were intentionally written that way or not. A piece of media will demonstrate with its setting, character development, dialogue, and storyline structure how its characters have been affected before, during, and after audiences are introduced. It is in these moments that we can see the SDG being discussed: whether that be a focus surrounding the preservation of resources (SDGs 12-15) or a plot-line dedicated to reestablishing justice in a post-apocalyptic society (SDG 16). Of the three pillars, sustainable development is the one easiest to decipher in popular media.

Peace-building in Media?

When we speak of peace-building in media we are discussing media that incorporates processes that indicate groups, teams, or individuals working towards bettering their societies or resolving conflicts. Movies, TV shows, and books that represent peace-building will have plot-lines focused around how cross-cultural connections benefit the characters as they search for a solution to their central problem. Media that features peace-building will seek new paths for peace each time the characters face another dilemma, and while they may take non-violent paths in the beginning, they may have to adapt as their situation changes. Peace-building can often times be harder to directly show in media, and it may take longer for the path to be revealed to the audience, but it is one of the strongest ties media can have to its audience as well.


Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development for Peace