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Sociology 2172 Notes

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Sociology 2172A/B
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13 ImageBased Culture Advertising and Pop CultureDiamonds are forever is almost as natural a link between roses and loveThis only came about after 1947 in New York from DeBeers and the advertising agency N W Ayers came up with this sloganThis is a dramatic example of how the institutional structure of the consumer society orients the culture more and more toward the world of commoditiesAgrian based society the public discourseadvertising as we know itFamily community ethnicity and religion were the dominant institutional mediators and creators of the cultural formsInformation about products seeped into public discourse ie public discourse soon became dominated by the discourse through and about objectsAt first this discourse relied upon transmitting information about products alone using textual communication offered by newspapersThis moved from being purely text based to more effective color illustrationsDomination of imagistic modes of representationTransition point in development of imagesaturated society1920sIndustry faced with curious problemneed to sell increasing quantities of nonessential goods in competitive marketplaceConsumer society began to be taught how to read commercial messagesPervasiveincreasingly filled upt he spaces of our daily existenceAdvertising is ubiquitousAdvertising and the Good Life Image and RealityDiscoruse through and about objects because it does nto merely tell us about things but of how things are connected to important domains of our livesQuality of life surveysAsk people what they are seeking in life makes them happyReporting consistent results commodities are only weakly related to these sources of satisfactionSocial life is locust of perceived happinessThus advertising promotes images of what the audience conceives of as the good lifeMarketplace can offer visions of it connected with the purchase of goodsAdvertising works by drawing upon and rechanneling concernsAdvertising doesnt always mirror how people are acting but how theyre dreamingpartipulationaudience participating in its own manipulationcommodities mediated by the imagesystem of advertising leads to consumer uncertainty and confusionthe imagesystem of the marketplace reflects our desire and dreams yet we have only the pleasure of the images to sustain us in our actual experience with goodscommodity imagesystem thus provides a particular vision of the worlda particular mode of selfvalidation that is integrally connected with what one has rather than what one issome people sayadvertising is a new religious system in which people construct their identities through the commodity form in which commodities are part of a supernatural magical world where anything is possible with the purchase of a productgoal of economic growth is an unquestioned and sacred proposition of political cultureas environmental costs build it is clear we must engage in debate concerning the nature of future economic growththis problem will be exponentially compounded as more and more nations reach for magic of the marketplace to provide the panacea for happinessThe spread of imagebased influenceCommodity image system is primarily about satisfaction its influence and effect are not limited to thatGender Identityads draw on what how we think menwomen behaveElectoral Politicsevidence suggests that a better PR campaign is a key success factorThe fact that people change their minds on who to vote for after seeing a 30 second commercial tells us that politics is largely conducted on a symbolic realm and that a notion of politics is based upon people having a coherent and deep vision of their relationship to the social world is no longer relevantIt is about feeling good or bad about a candidateCommitted voters are held at ransom to swing votersMarketers define childrens imaginationimaginative play has shifted one degree closer to imitation and assimilationPlay has become more of a rearticulation of the world designed by marketersGrowing divide bw girls and boys playVisual image system has colonized areas of life that were previously largely defined by auditory perception and experienceTurning musicaudio into imagesPeople write songs with the image based ideas in mindstSpeed and Fragmentation Toward a 21 century consciousnessCommodity informationsystem has two basic characteristicsReliance on visual modes of representationIncreasing speed and rapidity of images that constitute itTv advertising is the epitomevignette approachsells feeling and emotion rather than the producttwo consequencesone cannot watch these messages casuallythey require undivided attentionspeed and fragmentation are not conducive to thinking they induce feelingPolitical Implications Education in an ImageSaturated SocietyThe world encourages us to accept the autonomy of images the given facts that appear imply that substance is unimportant not worth pursuing Our own experiences are of little consequences unless they are substantiated and validated by the world of style Dominance of surface over substance must be overcome There must be a reconciliation of surface over substance a reinvigoration of a politics substanceImages are the dominant language of the modern worldSolution Basic course work in photography and video production should be required in all high schools Mot people do not understand how the language of images worksNoam Chomsky suggests citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual selfdefense to protect themselves from manipulation and control and to lay the basis for meaningful democracyThe invigoration of democracy depends upon the struggle being engaged14 Issue 3 Real Beauty Can Advertising Credibly Promote Social ChangeArgument 1 YES If skillfully employed advertising can be a powerful agent of social change ie Doves campaign for real beautyAdvertising Culture and BeautyAdvertisers use cultural symbols and ideals to communicate with their audience while trying to create a competitive edge This competitive edge also involves defining beauty giving it a corporate brand that is distinctive and compellingAmerican Fashion Models are thinner than 98 of American womenPostfeminism belief that while feminism was needed in the past the battle has been one and is no longer required or desirable for women to achieve their goalsIdeal qualities sexy intelligent powerfulMedias impact on body imageCriticisms of advertising have rested primarily on the belief that its impact on consumers limits their ability to think and act as independent creatures in the vastness of a consumer society42 of teens look to advertising for guidance about beauty and appearance compared to 45 who look to their friends for adviceDoves Campaign for Real Beautyconducted a study90 of women were unhappy with their body image30 of 10 year old children are afraid of becoming fatAverage model has a BMI of 163underweightOgilvy in NY created the campaignUse normal women no makeup not well trained or toned some featured older women with wrinkles and grey hairIs it possible to sell realityDove contended that their products can make women feel happy and healthy whether
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