Representation and ideology: reading advertisements, with special reference to selected British magazine advertisements, 1956-1964

Parsons, Allan J. (1986) Representation and ideology: reading advertisements, with special reference to selected British magazine advertisements, 1956-1964. Masters thesis, Middlesex Polytechnic. [Thesis]

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It is argued that advertisements constitute a semiotic social resource. A communicative practice is realised using this resource which is part of the commercial function of advertising. However, this communicative practice is shown to be a limited meaning production.

Advertising is theorised as a discursive social practice in which a communicative practice has become dominant. The discursive practice works ideologically, not simply communicatively or commercially.

The ideological operation is understood as the address of social subjects in local historical situations. Advertisements present a unified position from which the text can be understood as communicative. That position is imbricated with representations constituted by the text, as the other of the ego.

The ego is imbricated with an order of discourse, which is a field of unevenly developed discursive practices. Through the overdetermination of the text in discursive social practice, the imbrications are hierarchised to construct representations of the 'real'. The 'real' is socially constituted. It is not a simple ontological priority.

The institutional intentionality of marketing practice authorises the communicative practice. Thus, the authorised practice is enacted and resisted, or deconstructed, through a series of readings of advertisements from British magazines between 1956 and 1964. That period is considered to be one in which advertising was consolidated, both in corporate strategies and technologically in the public media. The deconstructive reading reinstates the discursive productions
marginalised by the communicative practice.

Advertisements are not simply reciprocal conversations freely developed between ego and other. Advertising as discourse is developed in the context of economic corporations' strategies.

Advertisements encode, reiterate and constitute social subjects, through overdetermination, in relations of power. Ideologically, when formed as a communicative practice,
advertisements join social subjects with an hegemonised order of power relations, which are realised in an extended social order in whose 'real' economic institutions are dominant.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 13466
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2015 12:44
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:46

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