In the third edition of Provocateur, sociologist Anthony Cortese offers an in-depth critical analysis of modern advertising—perhaps the most powerful cultural and economic institution. Focusing on images of women and minorities, he unravels the ideologies of domination and control in contemporary commerce. The depiction of ethnic and gender relations in advertising subtly colors our understanding of status arrangements and social boundaries. Connecting these images to periods of social change also highlights, in a more nuanced way, the social norms and cultural ideologies of a particular age. The third edition includes updated advertisements and analyses, and Cortese concludes with policy implications for advertising. The previous edition of Provocateur was honored by CHOICE magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title, with its highest rating: "Essential."
Contending that the racial and ethnic hatred Americans so deplore in other countries is in fact latent in modern western society itself, Cortese (sociology, Southern Methodist U.) critiques postmodern social arrangement based on gender, race, and ethnicity as manifested in advertising. He picks as examples the hardest hitting and most timely print ads to demonstrate the various types of subtle messages. He also presents a large and a small plan of attack that includes policy implications for advertising and a practical guide to combating symbolic racism on the individual level. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
A well-researched, thoughtful examination of an aspect of advertising that is seldom discussed and would be an excellent textbook or supplemental reading for advertising, media in society, and women and minorities in media courses.
The author takes a close look behind the scenes of contemporary culture, examining the hidden messages and social meaning of advertising and its use of the images of women and minorities.
This volume is an excellent historical and up-to-date analysis of how advertising targets ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians, as well as white heterosexuals. Academic readers will find eclectic scholarship representing feminist theory, sociology of advertising, ethnic studies, dramaturgy, postmodernism, and media literacy. In addition, Cortese provides practical advice on how readers can combat their own cultural conditioning, which may be racist. An outline for evaluating advertising is also included as an appendix. These guides, along with the excellent analysis throughout, make this an outstandingly useful volume. Excellent bibliography and index. Essential.
Ideology and Cultural Production
Cortese asks some very good questions, and he has a good eye for recent trends.
The content of this book . . . will appeal to students in many disciplines. . . . The author's observations are well documented. Readers are supplied with statistical data about the attitudes of American consumers, and Cortese has chosen an interesting variety of explicit graphic images to illustrate his points. . . . Recommended for all levels.
A fascinating examination of an underexplored aspect of advertising and its impact on all of our lives.