The Advertising and Consumer Culture Reader
Commercial breaks, radio spots, product placements, billboards, pop-up ads—we sometimes take for granted how much advertising surrounds us in our daily lives. We may find ads funny, odd, or even disturbing, but we rarely stop to consider their deeper meaning or function within society.
What, exactly, does advertising do? How and why do ads influence us? How does the advertising industry influence our media? These are just a few of the many important questions addressed in The Advertising and Consumer Culture Reader—an incisive, provocative collection that assembles twenty-seven of the most important scholarly writings on advertising and consumer culture to date.
The classic and contemporary essays gathered here explore the past, present, and future of advertising—from the early days of print to the World Wide Web and beyond. These selections offer historical, sociological, critical, cultural, and political-economic lenses to explore a wide range of topics—from consumer activism to globalization to the role of ads in the political process. Together, these key readings chart the past, present, and future of advertising, while also examining the effects of advertising and consumer culture upon individuals, society, cultures, and the world at large.
Designed for use in courses, the collection begins with a general introduction that orients students to thinking critically about advertising and consumer culture. Section and chapter introductions offer valuable historical and critical context, while review questions after each reading will spark classroom debates and challenge students’ understanding of key concepts.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Thinking Critically About Advertising and Consumer Culture Joseph Turow and Matthew P. McAllister Part One: The Rise of Commercial and Consumer Culture Introduction to Part One. 1. Advertising: The Magic System Raymond Williams 2. The Alien Past: Consumer Culture in Historical Perspective Susan Strasser 3. "Educate the Public!" Stuart Ewen Part Two: The Political Economy of Advertising Introduction to Part Two. 4. Televised Consumption: Women, Advertisers and the Early Daytime Television Industry Inger L. Stole 5. Dr. Brandreth Has Gone to Harvard Ben H. Bagdikian 6. Economic Censorship and Free Speech: The Circle of Communication between Advertisers, Media, and Consumers Jef I. Richards and John H. Murphy II 7. The Commodity Flow of U.S. Children’s Television Matthew P., McAllister and J. Matt Giglio Part Three: Creating Advertising Introduction to Part Three. 8. Encoding Advertisements: The Creative Perspective Aidan Kelly, Katrina Lawlor, and Stephanie O’Donohoe 9. Nightmare on Madison Avenue Devin Leonard 10. The Outing of Philip Morris: Advertising Tobacco to Gay Men Elizabeth A. Smith and Ruth E. Malone Part Four: Ads and Globalization Introduction to Part Four. 11. Gender and Advertisements: The Rhetoric of Globalisation Maitrayee Chaudhuri 12. The Construction of Beauty: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Women’s Magazine Advertising Katherine Frith, Ping Shaw, and Hong Cheng 13. "Just Do It," But Not on My Planet Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson Part Five: Ads and Cultural Meaning Introduction to Part Five. 14. Reflections and Reviews: An English Teacher Looks at Branding James B. Twitchell 15. Advertising as Capitalist Realism Michael Schudson 16. The Spectacular Consumption of "True" African American Culture: "Whassup" with the Budweiser Guys? Eric King Watts and Mark Orbe 17. Flabless is Fabulous: How Latina and Anglo Women Read and Incorporate the Excessively Thin Body Ideal into Everyday Experience Robyn J. Goodman Part Six: Ads and Politics Introduction to Part Six. 18. Selling Democracy: Consumer Culture and Citizenship in the Wake of September 11 Greg Dickinson 19. Political Advertising in US Presidential Campaigns: Messages, Targeting, and Effects Bruce W. Hardy 20. Campaign.USA; With the Internet Comes a New Political "Clickocracy" Jose Antonio Vargas Part Seven: Advertising and the Active Citizen Introduction to Part Seven. 21. A New Consumerism, 1960-1980 Gary S. Cross 22. Pranking Rhetoric: "Culture Jamming" as Media Activism Christine Harold 23. Local Foreign Policy: Students and Communities Join the Fray Naomi Klein Part Eight: Ads and the Future Introduction to Part Eight. 24. The Work of Being Watched; Interactive Media and the Exploitation of Self-Disclosure Mark Andrejevic 25. Advertisers and Audience Autonomy at the End of Television Joseph Turow 26. Every Nook and Cranny: The Dangerous Spread of Commercialized Culture Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor 27. Advertising at the End of the Apocalypse Sut Jhally Index
Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. He has authored eight books, edited five books, and written more than 100 articles on mass media industries. Most recently, he is author of the third edition of his textbook Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication and co-editor of the companion volume Key Readings in Media Today: Mass Communication in Contexts, both published by Routledge.
Matthew P. McAllister is Associate Professor of Communications at Pennsylvania State University. He is author of The Commercialization of American Culture: New Advertising, Control and Democracy and co-editor of Comics and Ideology and Film and Comic Books.
"This collection...was designed with the student in mind."
"Turow and McAllister have done a masterful job of collecting key works on advertising and consumer culture. A wonderful resource for a wide range of classes in media studies and beyond."
-Janet Wasko, University of Oregon
"The Advertising and Consumer Culture Reader offers a comprehensive assessment of the indelible impact that the marketing of consumer brands has on identity and interactivity in the modern age. The publication of this engaging and intellectually rigorous collection of essays could not arrive at a more appropriate time. With the strategies for monetizing—and mobilizing—global media audiences in the midst of thorough reformulation, this anthology will prove to be a valuable resource for anyone interested in charting how these accelerating trends are converging to transform our world."
-Christopher H. Smith, USC Annenberg School for Communication