COMM 287 Lecture Notes

COMM 287 Lecture Notes - COMM 287 Lecture Notes-Exam 1...

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COMM 287 Lecture Notes—Exam 1 Lecture 1 Why Study Advertising Main question for the course: o How do we understand and get some analytical distance from subject matter that is so familiar and so much fun? o Must use an anthropological eye o Stories are constantly being told through society about what goods can do for us o An anthropologist looking at our society would point to how SIMILAR we are to all older human cultures 1. our belief in a system of magic objects seem to have supernatural powers to change us and change how others look at and feel about us 2. we define ourselves through the goods that we make and collect around us a. relationship between people and things is universal o “It should be recalled that the crucial discovery of dialectical investigation is that man is ‘mediated’ by things to the same extent as things are ‘mediated’ by man.” –J.P. Sartre A. Things are dependent upon humans for their existence and what they mean B. Humans are equally dependent upon things for their existence and how to understand their role in the world HUMANS NEED THINGS o “Man is not only homo sapiens or homo ludens, he is also homo faber , the maker and user of objects, his self to a large extent a reflection of things with which he interacts.” – The Meaning of Things o Photo series: people in different countries put everything in their houses outside and pose with it for a picture - Reading objects to gain insights into cultures o Process of “objectification” - Objectify ourselves (make concrete) in the material world We take what is central to our identities and make it concrete in the world we construct This forms the core of the human experience - At one level, the consumer culture is the SAME as all other human cultures, both contemporary and historical - To study advertising (how things are connected to people) is to study a deep-rooted aspect of the human experience o How is the consumer culture DIFFERENT than other earlier societies? - Economist’s view—quantitatively very different - Marx economist of capitalism
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- “The wealth of societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails appears as an “immense collection of commodities.””—Marx The difference is quantitative : number of things that can be produced and are available Once the “immense collection of commodities” have been produced they also have to be sold Capitalism creates a whole new industry: advertising! o First time anything like this has existed Biggest propaganda effort in history to alter public consciousness (rivaled only perhaps by religion) Over $200 billion spent on advertising in US $450 billion plus spent globally - advertising has colonized and invaded public space we are appealed to as consumers 3600 times/day media systems dominated by advertising o to advertisers, 2 hours in a movie is wasted time not being appealed to culture sponsored by corporations
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COMM 287 Lecture Notes - COMM 287 Lecture Notes-Exam 1...

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