Saturday, 19 October 2013

Lecture 2: Consumerism - Persuasion, Brand, Society & Culture

•Analyse the rise of US consumerism
•Discuss the links between consumerism and our unconscious desires
•Sigmund Freud
•Edmund Bernays
•Consumerism as social control



Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
•New theory of human nature
•Hidden primitive sexual forces and animal instincts which need controlling
•The Interpretation of Dreams (1899)
•The Unconscious (1915)
•The Ego and the Id (1923)
•Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920)
•Civilization & its Discontents (1930

•Fundamental tension between civilization and the individual
•Human instincts incompatible with the well being of community.
•The Pleasure Principle

Edward Bernays (1891-1995)
•Press Agent
•Employed by public information during WW1
•Post war- set up ‘The Council on Public Relations’
•Birth of PR
•Based on the ideas of Freud (his uncle).
•Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923)
•Propaganda (1928)

'Touches of Freedom'

 Easter Day Parade 1929

•product placement
•Celebrity endorsements
•The use of pseudo-scientific reports

•Henry Ford (1863 – 1947)
•Transposes Taylorism to car factories of Detroit

•Moving assembly line
•Standard production models built as they move through the factory
•Requires large investment, but increases productivity so much that relatively high wages can be paid, allowing the workers to buy the product they produce

Need & Desire

Marketing Hidden Needs
•Selling emotional security
•Selling reassurance of worth
•Selling ego-gratification
•Selling Creative Outlets
•Selling Love Objects
•Selling sense of power
•Selling a sense of roots
•Selling immortality

A new Elite is needed to manage the bewildered herd. 'Manufacturing consent.'

Russian Revolution

October 24, 1929
Black Tuesday

The Great Depression

Roosevelt and the ‘New Deal’




•Consumerism is an ideological project 
•We believe that through consumption our desires can be met 
•The Consumer Self 
•The legacy of Bernays / PR can be felt in all aspects of C21st society 
•The conflicts between alternative models of social organisation continue to this day. 
•To what extent are our lives ‘free’ under the Western Consumerist system?

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