Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter. Journal articles can act as an ideal resource to help support your assignments and studies.
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Article 1: Botteril, Jacqueline. 2007. “Cowboys, Outlaws and Artists: The rhetoric of authenticity and contemporary jeans and sneaker advertisements.” Journal of Consumer Culture. 7(1): 105-125.
Abstract: Advertising’s contribution to the deterioration of meaning in consumer culture has been well established, yet advertising also offers a therapeutic resource to audiences. Early advertisers humanized the modern marketplace with nostalgic appeals to home, hearth and village, yet, against the rising tide of 1960s identity politics, designers made increasing appeals to authenticity. By the 21st century, the modern heroes of authentic individuality – the cowboy, the genius artist, the outlaw – had been fully parodied and debunked, yet an interpretive study of two totemic youth commodities, jeans and sneakers, suggests that the underlying values of freedom, autonomy and individuality are not. Contemporary jeans advertisers rewrite the quest for authenticity within contemporary promotional culture, yet this appeal is not universal. Athletic shoe brands achieved popularity by re?ecting the ideology of athleticism rooted in the modernist ethos celebrating achievement, deferral of grati?cation, discipline and teamwork. The research suggests autonomy and selfauthentication are taken most seriously by those most immersed in the quest for antimodern identity. Even if the marketplace is not a site of absolute personal freedom, to the degree it quells anxieties that the quest for freedom is disappearing in a hypercommercialized market culture, it may prove therapeutic.
- How does the author argue that meaning is conveyed to young people through jeans and sneaker advertisements? What is being “sold” beyond the products? Do you agree with her assessment?
- What is the role of authenticity in advertising today, according to the author?
- How do the ads studied connect to historically specific concerns? What values do the ads connect use? How does this relate to ideology and hegemony?
Article 2: Stratton, Jon. 2011. “Zombie Trouble: Zombie texts, bare life and displaced people.” European Journal of Cultural Studies. 14(3): 265-281.
Abstract: There has been a recent upsurge in texts featuring zombies. At the same time, members of western countries have become increasingly anxious about displaced peoples: asylum-seekers and other so-called illegal migrants who attempt to enter those countries. What displaced people, people without the protection of the state and zombies have in common is that both manifest the quality of what Giorgio Agamben calls ‘bare life’. Moreover, zombies have the qualities of workers or slaves driven to total exhaustion. The genre of the zombie apocalypse centers on laying siege to a place that is identified as a refuge for a group of humans. In these texts it is possible to read an equation of zombies with displaced people who are ‘threatening’ the state. Indeed, the rhetoric used to describe these people constructs them as similar to mythical zombies. This article includes analyses of a number of zombie films including Shaun of the Dead, Fido and Undead.
- What are the ideological underpinnings of the upsurge of zombies in mass media, according to the author?
- How do scholars use specific mass media genres to study ideology from a particular historical period? How does Stratton conduct his study?
- What historically specific anxieties does Stratton say zombies represent? How does this remind you of some of the themes discussed by Croteau & Hoynes in Ch. 5?
Article 3: Andrews, Kenneth T. and Neal Caren. 2010. “Making the News: Movement Organizations, Media Attention and the Public Agenda.” American Sociological Review. 75(6): 841-866.
Abstract: Increasingly, scholars have come to see the news media as playing a pivotal role in shaping whether social movements are able to bring about broader social change. By drawing attention to movements’ issues, claims, and supporters, the news media can shape the public agenda by influencing public opinion, authorities, and elites. Why are some social movement organizations more successful than others at gaining media coverage? Specifically, what organizational, tactical, and issue characteristics enhance media attention? We combine detailed organizational survey data from a representative sample of 187 local environmental organizations in North Carolina with complete news coverage of those organizations in 11 major daily newspapers in the two years following the survey (2,095 articles). Our analyses reveal that local news media favor professional and formalized groups that employ routine advocacy tactics, mobilize large numbers of people, and work on issues that overlap with newspapers’ focus on local economic growth and well-being. Groups that are confrontational, volunteer led, or advocate on behalf of novel issues do not garner as much attention in local media outlets. These findings have important implications and challenge widely held claims about the pathways by which movement actors shape the public agenda through the news media.
- Why is the news media so pivotal to social movements’ success?
- Why is it often difficult for social movements to receive regular news coverage?
- What does the author find leads to more news coverage for social movement organizations? How does this relate to what you’ve already learned about the news media and ideology?
Article 4: Sandlin, Jennifer A. and Julie G. Maudlin. 2012. “Consuming pedagogies: Controlling images of women as consumers in popular culture.” Journal of Consumer Culture. 12(2): 175-194.
Abstract: We seek to understand how, by engaging in various sites of consumption, we learn particular gendered, raced and classed consumer subjectivities that often uphold patriarchal consumer capitalism. Drawing from academic literature on the history of consumption, we examine the historical construction of shopping and consumption as ‘feminine’ domains and explore how current discourses about females and consumerism continue to construct women as particular kinds of consumers who possess and enact particular behaviors, dispositions and values. We also conduct a cultural studies analysis of popular culture discourses about female consumers. We argue that dominant discourses about women as consumers operate as master narratives, creating controlling images and perpetuating a politics of disgust that demeans and oppresses women. We specifically focus on how particular groups of women are differentially subjected to more or less negative characterizations with/in these discourses. We examined historical texts, including print advertisements, television commercials and popular literature, that memorably portrayed the roles of women as consumers. Contemporary print advertisements, television commercials, internet sites and music lyrics from popular artists provided sources for further analysis of the proliferation of these stereotypes. Through critical analysis and description of these popular culture representations, we hope to reveal and challenge – to disarticulate and rearticulate – the deficit, racist, classist and sexist perspectives in these majoritarian stories, in order to challenge dominant discourses of White, male and middle-class privilege.
- How do the authors argue that the media particularly constructs women as consumers/shoppers? How does this uphold both patriarchy and consumer capitalism as ideologies?
- How do the authors show historically how women were constructed as shoppers in early mass media?
- What are the different stereotypes about female consumers and where have they appeared in movies and television? Can you think of any other examples?
- What is meant by the term “controlling images”? How does race intersect with gender in the construction of women as shoppers?