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An ideological analysis of class division and advertising
Agnes, Kristin Brooke
McClish, GlenSheppard, JenniferGeist-Martin, Patricia
xi, 79 pages : illustrations (some colored).
The current state of class division in contemporary American society is problematic; therefore, it is critical to understand and analyze the multiple factors that can contribute to inequitable class division. One such factor is how society chooses to consume goods and services, and how media play a part in this decision. By analyzing a medium that is easily accessible, consumed, and used across America, such as magazines and their advertisements, I can review the probable, yet subtle, communication that is being passed from the medium?s content to the consumers. Little research has been conducted in the field of rhetoric that visually analyzes advertisements and their ideological influence on personal values and economic standing. This thesis is an analysis of two magazines aimed at two opposite audiences: FORTUNE Magazine and People StyleWatch Magazine. Both magazines are produced by the same corporation, Time Inc. In this thesis, I will review literature on visual rhetoric, consumption, advertising, ideology theory, and Time, Inc. This review will set a foundation from which I can analyze how advertising perpetuates and extends class division. I will also discuss the limitations of my research that are due to the nature of a case study, such as only reviewing a small section of the advertisements in a magazine, only focusing on two publications, and only analyzing the advertisements at a single point in time. Further, I will discuss options to extend this research and findings, such as analyzing advertisements used in a different publishing house, analyzing various advertising media, analyzing magazines without advertisements, and conducting general research on magazines with a rhetorical lens. My findings show that the difference among magazines consumed by the varying economic demographics can contribute to the issues of class division due the ideological messages promoted in the advertisements, which is significant considering the extreme class division that is currently at a problematic state in America.
Rhetoric and Writing Studies
Arts and Letters
San Diego State University
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2015
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