Featherstone (1990) Perspectives on Consumer Culture


Link to Oxford Bibliography >>  | Argument – Our relationship to material culture has sociological significance and consumption can not be viewed as a simple by-product of production.  Consumer culture has been studied in three key ways 1.) “the production of consumption”, 2.) “modes of consumption” and 3.) “the emotional and aesthetic pleasures” of consumption.  … Continue reading

Manovich (2001) The Language of New Media


Link to text >>  |  Link to Video>>  |  Link to Review>> Argument – Manovich maps out parameters to define what new media is, what distinguishes it from old media, how it developed out of other media forms, and how it can be studied.  Throughout the book he situates new media in relation to older … Continue reading

Creeber and Martin (2009) Digital Cultures


Link to Text >> Ch 1. Digital Theories Argument – Creeber and Martin 2009 trace the history of Critical Media Studies as a precursor to the study of digital media.  They situate New Media studies within post-structuralist theories of media that emphasize multiple layers of meaning that are actively produced by users.  There is no … Continue reading

Lazzarato (1996) Immaterial Labor


Argument Since the 1970s the nature of work has changed so that it isn’t always recognized as work.  Much of the work performed today is immaterial labor and it involves new power relations in which workers, who are free, use their mental skills and personalities to produce information commodities. NOTE: Lazzarato is not describing digital … Continue reading

Smythe (1981) On the Audience Commodity and its Work


Same argument as Blindspot article: “readers and audience members of advertising-supported media mass media are a commodity produced and sold to advertisers because they perform a valuable service for the advertisers” (Smythe 1981, 8). While we generally consider work to involve physical labor, Smythe explains that within information capitalism: “much of the work that audience … Continue reading

Englehardt, Tom. (1986) “The Shortcake Strategy”


ARGUMENT – After the deregulation of children’s advertising in the early 1980s, Children’s television shows were no longer designed to entertain, but to generate sales. Authorship shifted from TV studios to toy companies and advertising agencies that produced shows to function as program length commercials (PLCs) for licensed characters and their associated merchandising. Under this … Continue reading

Kanner, Allen D. 2005. “Globalization and the Commercialization of Childhood.”


http://www.tikkun.org/article.php/Kanner-Globalization ARGUMENT Economic globalization has brought the concept of children as consumers to ever corner of the earth.  This global spread of “corporate monoculture” is harmful to children. SUMMARY There are three reasons why companies advertise to children (This is adapted from McNeal 1992 but Kanner doesn’t cite it): To generate brand awareness and loyalty … Continue reading