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Promotional Culture

Promotional Culture
Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression

November 1991 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Advertising has long been analyzed as a pervasive disseminator of cultural values. In a detailed analysis of advertisements as promotional texts, Andrew Wernick shows how their impact on cultural formation has become increasingly fundamental with the spread of the market into every facet of social life. The resulting promotional culture has transformed the character of all forms of communication.

Moving beyond a simple critique of advertising as an ideological process, Promotional Culture relates its impact to the broad social processes analyzed under the label of postmodernism. Wernick traces the impact of promotion from the selling of consumer goods to the spheres of electoral politics and the university. In doing so, he poses fundamental questions not only about the shape of contemporary societies but also about the individual as an acting and communicating subject.

The Imaged Commodity
Advertising as Ideology
(Re-)imaging Gender
The Case of Men

(Re-)imaging Technology
The Case of Cars

Advertising Media and the Vortex of Publicity
Promotional Politics
The Promotional University
The Promotional Condition of Contemporary Culture

The merit of Wernick's book lies in the way it importantly situates the effectivities of promotional culture within specific and shifting historical relations of politics, economics, and social identities.

Canadian Journal of Communication

Wernick provides a socio-historical perspective that goes well beyond the sorts of perfunctory dates-and-labels summary that too often pass for backgrounding writings... his central theoretical discourse must be one of the most succinct and comprehensive summations available, richly supported along the way by examples drawn from the anecdotal evidence of the media themselves... Wernick manages to keep close to the practicalities of mass media influence on our lives and culture.... The importance of this book, however, is in the matter in which it presents the concept of promotional culture, and the relevant issues and the problems of semiotic applications and imaging. Seen in this light, Promotional Culture is a work of sufficient and considerable value.

Canadian Journal of Sociology

An engaging and thought-provoking book which should be read by those interested in advertising and the changing nature of contemporary culture.

Contemporary Sociology

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ISBN: 9780803983908