What Arts students really do: satirical video pokes fun at stereotypes

22 January 2013

In an increasingly competitive global student market, it can be difficult for universities to cut through the crowds and stand out, especially when the degree you are promoting is prone to being negatively stereotyped.

In a bid to draw attention to one of the University of Sydney's flagship degrees, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has released a bold new video that makes fun of these stereotypes in order to dispel them - and ultimately tells the real story of studying in the humanities and social sciences at one of Australia's leading Group of Eight universities.

The new video, created in the style of a 'What People Think I Do' internet meme, uses humour to address parent and student fears and assumptions about studying an arts degree. The misconceptions addressed include arts students as slackers, self-righteous protesters and pretentious hipsters. The video also includes references to quinoa, non-conformist visual essays and the inventive use of an Xbox 360 controller.

But it's not all tongue-in-cheek. The concluding segment of the meme, 'What We Actually Do', presents a realistic picture of what studying arts at the University of Sydney is really like, with perspectives from the Dean of the faculty, Professor Duncan Ivison, prominent academics, students, alumni and employers who value the characteristics that an arts degree instills in its graduates.

"For me, one of the good things about an arts degree is it gives you a range of knowledges to work with," says Professor David Schlosberg from the Department of Government and International Relations in the video.

"Businesses are always looking for people who can write well, who can think critically and who have more than just the simple understanding of one topic".

See more videos from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences' video page.

Contact: Kate Mayor

Phone: 02 9351 2208

Email: 1a04112f4b090c1b293d120410013e1d3e57010e1768221c