What does advertising do? Is it the faith of a secular society? If so, why does it inspire so little devotion? Advertising, the Uneasy Persuasion is a clear-eyed account of advertising as both business and social institution.
Instead of fuelling the moral indignation surrounding the industry, or feeding fantasies of powerful manipulators, Michael Schudson presents a clear assessment of advertising in its wider sociological and historical framework, persuasively concluding that advertising is not nearly as important, effective, or scientifically founded as either its advocates or its critics imagine.
‘Dispassionate, open-minded and balanced ... he conveys better than any other recent author a sense of advertising as its practitioners understand it.’ Stephen Fox, New York Times Book Review
First published in 1984.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Preface to the paperback edition. Introduction. 1. The advertiser’s perspective 2. What advertising agencies know 3. The consumer’s information environment 4. An anthropology of goods 5. Historical roots of consumer culture 6. The emergence of new consumer patterns: a case study of the cigarette 7. Advertising as capitalist realism 8. An evaluation of advertising. Afterword. Notes. Index.