VCC336 Lecture 4 - Cynicism

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Department
Visual Culture and Communication
Course
VCC236H5
Professor
Neil Narine
Semester
Winter

Description
VCC336 LEC4 JAN3013 - Sign Wars: from cynicism to sentimentality and back again. - Being a rebel, taking a strong stance acting out against the homogenizing consumer culture. - They know that ppl can get cynical. We get cynical. The next step is, how do they reach us when we stepped out. We know that you know this is a bunch of BS. CENTURY OF THE SELF REVIEW - Post-war, North Americans inevitably became AWARE that they were being manipulated. - In the industrial revolution, people are losing their individuality, losing the feeling of being different. INDIVIDUALITY - Each of us think that we have it - What is it? Our uniqueness/skill? What we offer to a group? - Pre-industrial revolution. His labour is right there in it. There is this connection between him and his work, his work and his customer. It’s a different sense when we buy in Costco, we don’t know who made it, where it was built. He has individuality. A ‘MASS SOCIETY’ - What is it? Millions of us participate in the same things. We operate as a part of a large group. We may think we experience individual agency, but even that is PRODUCED for us (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1847). - It’s a very tricky claim. Even when we think we’re experiencing a moment of agency, no because that is produced too. It’s predetermined for us. - He loses his identity. Having no connection to the product. WE FEEL UNIQUE BUT ARE WE? - Houses. We are all the same again. We all have cars, etc. We have crisis here. HAILING the ALIENATED SPECTATOR - ‘[From the 1960s to] the 1980s, the formulaic nature of deciphering ads had provoked viewers boredom, anger, and cynicism. - Viewers grew scornful of advertisers’ motives and resistant to performing the task of joining disconnected signs by accepting the guidance of advertising formulas’ (Goldman and Papson, pg. 83) - - HAILING the IMMUNE CONSUMER? - David Lubars, Omnicom exec: consumers “are like roaches—u spray them and spray the, and they get immune after a while.” (cited in naomi klein, No Logo (vintage, 2000), p. 9) - IMMUNITY/resistance to advertising: - ^ Goldman&Papson: “when individuals are asked to respond to diff cues that call for radically diff emotional response in a quick successive manner…[they] defend themselves by becoming affectless, by shutting down response” (p 83, emphasis added). BUT DOES TREATING CONSUMERS LIKE ROACHES WORK??? - They want to get at us. Trying to find ways to get at us. THE CHALLENGE FOR MARKETERS - Opinion leaders in consumer culture discovered: we m
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