Tagged with advertising

Goffman (1976) Gender Advertisements


Though gender is a social – not biological – construct, the depictions in consumer culture serve the ideological function of naturalizing specific qualities of femininity and masculinity. Advertising employs highly selective representations of cultural groups that downplay similarities and highlight differences. In the case of gender, Goffman (1976) studies the gender displays in advertisements and … 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

Meyers, Cynthia (2014) A Word From Our Sponsor

Meyers, Cynthia (2014) A Word From Our Sponsor


ARGUMENT Meyers argues that advertising agencies played a key role in carving out American radio as a commercial medium and positioned themselves at the controls.  The primary reason their role has gone unnoticed is due to the fact that they were never credited on air so as not to distract from the advertiser’s message. SUMMARY … Continue reading

Schrum, Kelly. (2004) Some Wore Bobby Sox

Schrum, Kelly. (2004) Some Wore Bobby Sox


ARGUMENT Most cultural histories of teenagers focus on delinquent (white) boys in the 1950s as the first “teenage” culture.  However, Schrum argues that girls were the original teenagers.  Adolescent girls developed their own unique tastes and styles in fashion, beauty, movies, and music beginning as early as the 1920s and used consumer culture to create … Continue reading

Cross, Gary. (2010) “Valves of Adult Desire: The Regulation and Incitement of Children’s Consumption.”


ARGUMENT Cross points out the confusion that results when parents want to control children’s consumption and desire for goods (close down the valve of consumption) but at the same time parents enjoy giving gifts and pleasing their children with consumer goods (opening up the valve of consumption.) SUMMARY Advertisers did not frequently target children or … Continue reading