Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture: Advertising's Impact on American Character and Society

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9780742500303: Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture: Advertising's Impact on American Character and Society
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Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture is an engaging cultural studies critique of advertising and its impacts on American society. Arthur Asa Berger looks at marketing strategies, sex and advertising, consumer culture, political advertising, and communication theory and process to give an accessible overview of advertising in America. He explores how advertising works and how society does or doesnOt respond to it, and he gives two detailed interpretations of ads to offer readers step-by-step frameworks for decoding print ads and television commercials. In making our own purchasing decisions, do we still end up buying only well-advertised products? Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture shows that there is a fine line between being aware of advertising and being influenced by it. The book also includes a glossary of advertising and communication theory terms.

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About the Author:

Arthur Asa Berger is professor emeritus of broadcast and electronic communication arts at San Francisco State University.


It was pure pleasure reading Arthur Asa Berger’s esoteric deconstruction of the Macintosh ‘1984’ commercial. I was part of this commercial’s development and had no idea we were making semiotic history. Only a person of Berger’s intellect and insight could have figured it all out as he has. (Fred Goldberg, Chairman & CEO, Goldberg Moser O?Neill)

Succeeds in introducing a way to study advertising in an interesting, lively, and thought-provoking package. An excellent, accessible textbook for students who are interested in advertising, as well as students in communication, business, and sociology. . . . I would feel comfortable using this text in courses with freshmen through seniors. (Jonathan Schroeder, University of Rhode Island)

In Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture, Arthur Asa Berger strikes the raw nerve of American advertising. As in his many other cultural commentaries, Berger drives his point home with wit, wisdom, and wide-ranging examples, offering powerful inoculation against the worst excesses of today’s climate of greed and commodification. (Carol Wilder, associate dean, The New School)

Arthur Asa Berger is that rare combination of astute, deep, and fun. His insights into the psychology, sociology, economics, and political implications of advertising and pop culture, in a lively, readable form, are a must for any student of popular culture. (Howard Rheingold, author of The Virtual Community)

Deceptively simple, and powerfully argued, Berger's little training manual describes the rationale, techniques, and application of cultural criticism of advertising and represents another assault on the limited-effects school that has so dominated—and some would argue stymied—American mass communication theory and study. (Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly)

Arthur Asa Berger’s Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture provides a multifaceted study of advertising that demonstrates its importance for the economy, politics, social life, and individual identities. Skillfully employing cultural, communications, and social theory, Berger brilliantly illuminates the multiple functions of advertising in today’s consumer culture. (Douglas Kellner, UCLA, author of Media Culture)

Berger's book is a well-written, concise introduction to advertising communication. (Discourse & Society)

This book is well-written, down-to-earth, accessible, and rich in useful information. (Contemporary Sociology)

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9780742500310: Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture: Advertising's Impact on American Character and Society

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ISBN 10:  0742500314 ISBN 13:  9780742500310
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000

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Arthur Asa Berger
Published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2000)
ISBN 10: 0742500306 ISBN 13: 9780742500303
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