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Eisenberg, Emma CLiving in an (Im)material World: Consuming Exhausted Narratives in New Grub Street
BA, Oberlin College, 2015, English
Journalists often write about the death of various print and media forms—deaths that have yet to occur, but which we continually anticipate in deference to a tacit law which discards the past as a “useless encumbrance” of outmoded styles of consumption. But is that encumbrance necessarily useless? In this paper, I argue that George Gissing’s New Grub Street (1891), which narrates the deaths of two realist novelists and has been called an “epitaph for Victorian fiction,” lives out its own virtual death to good purpose. I discuss how Gissing uses the realist novel’s transitional or partially exhausted state to conserve social possibilities excluded by consumer society and the newer, less novelistic commodities that circulate within it. I examine theories of consumerism, exploitation, and Realism in the 19th century novel to articulate how a surplus of meaning can so reside in a consumable object.

Committee:

William Patrick Day (Advisor); Sandra Zagarell (Committee Member); Natasha Tessone (Committee Member)

Subjects:

British and Irish Literature; Literature

Keywords:

George Gissing;New Grub Street;realism;19th century;consumerism;novel;consumption; narrative;Victorian novel;commodity;reproduction;

Chizmar, Paul ChristopherMiranda's Dream Perverted: Dehumanization in Huxley's Brave New World
BA, Kent State University, 2012, College of Arts and Sciences / Department of English

One of the most prominent themes portrayed in science fiction is dehumanization. As it pertains to the genre, dehumanization stands for the loss of one’s basic humanity – individuality, emotion, and free will – as a result of harsh social control and/or overindulgence in high technology. One novel that offers a compelling depiction of this theme is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. The novel depicts a world that has been united under a single government known as the World State. This regime has taken extensive measures to suppress the human element. Citizens are bred artificially, conditioned from birth to conform to the norms of society, and are kept docile through extensive leisure and frivolous entertainment. For those in power, the ultimate purpose of dehumanization is to maintain an unshakable control over the populace.

The purpose of this thesis is to present four arguments regarding dehumanization in Brave New World: 1.) how the novel is meant to be a warning regarding mankind’s technological/scientific prowess, 2.) how the main characters represent humanity, 3.) how the theme may have been influenced by contemporary norms, and 4.) how the theme of dehumanization, as presented in the novel, influenced the same theme in future science fiction literature.

Committee:

Anthony Santirojprapai, Prof. (Advisor); David Larwin, Prof. (Committee Member); Sara Newman, Prof. (Committee Member); Judith Wootten, Prof. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Genetics; Literature; Psychology; Sociology

Keywords:

Aldous Huxley; 1930s; eugenics; dystopian literature; Henry Ford; industry; consumerism; psychology

Hwang, JiyoungRewarding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Through CSR Communication: Exploring Spillover Effects in Retailer Private Brands and Loyalty Programs
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2010, Human Ecology: Fashion and Retail Studies

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer an entirely voluntary option for retailers. Instead, retailers have been under increasing pressure from various stakeholders and extraneous parties (e.g., the government) to embrace it. The biggest challenge facing retailers today is not whether or not to implement CSR practices, but how.

Acknowledging research gaps and practical significance, this dissertation highlights how retailers can reap the benefits from their commitment to CSR within a spillover effect context. It proposes a conceptual framework based upon the Stimulus-Organism-Response framework (Mehrabian & Russell, 1974) and the Expectancy-Value theory (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975) to systematically demonstrate an underlying mechanism of spillover effects and an asymmetrical negativity bias created by CSR communication messages. Specifically, two essays examine: 1) whether or not (and to what extent) CSR communication messages influence consumers’ perceptions about a retailer, 2) whether or not the perceptions about the retailer are spilled over onto the evaluation of the retailers’ private brands (CSR-PBs, essay one) and loyalty programs (CSR-LPs, essay two) that convey the retailer’s CSR orientation, 3) whether or not the spillover effects differ depending on the valence of CSR communication messages, and finally 4) whether or not a consumer characteristic, ethical consumerism, creates differential effects on cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses to the retailers’ CSR-PBs and CSR-LPs.

To test the proposed model within CSR-PB and CSR-LP contexts, two web-based experiments were performed with university employees (essay one) and with general US consumers (essay two). The results supported that positive and negative information about a retailer’s CSR influenced consumers’ beliefs/attitudes toward the retailer, but the strength of the impact was greater among consumers who learned of the negative information. Next, the results showed that beliefs and attitudes at the retailer level were spilled over onto and influenced evaluations of the retailer’s products (CSR-PBs) and services (CSR-LPs). More importantly, an asymmetrical negativity bias was discovered in the patterns of spillover effects. Finally, a consumer trait, ethical consumerism, was found to create differential effects in consumers’ interpretations of CSR communication messages. This dissertation contributes to the existing literature on corporate social responsibility, private brands, loyalty programs, and marketing communication. The proposed conceptual framework incorporates spillover effects and negativity effects and enriches our understanding of consumers’ responses to CSR communication messages. Also, by integrating the role of a consumer trait, this research offers more accurate insights into how individual differences affect consumers’ responses to communication messages and their evaluations of retailers’ CSR-PBs/CSR-LPs, extending the scope of consumer behavior research associated with retailer brand extension. Finally, this dissertation has managerial implications, specifically providing retailers with insight into how to embrace CSR effectively and reap the benefits from a commitment to CSR.

Committee:

Leslie Stoel, PhD (Committee Chair); Jae-Eun Chung, PhD (Committee Co-Chair); Jay Kandampully, PhD (Committee Member); Patricia West, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Behavioral Psychology; Behavioral Sciences; Communication; Marketing; Psychology; Sustainability

Keywords:

corporate social responsibility; spillover effects; private brand; loyalty program; ethical consumerism; negativity effect; CSR communication; organic product; Expectancy-value theory; Stimulus-Organism-Response theory

MacDonald Weeks, Kelly C.Parrotheads, Cheeseburgers, and Paradise: Adult Music Fandom and Fan Practices
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Bowling Green State University, 2012, American Culture Studies/Popular Culture
Jimmy Buffett’s beach bum lifestyle music was essentially solidified with his album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes in 1977, and it is his fans, collectively known as Parrotheads, who have continued to help him achieve such success. This dissertation examines not only Parrotheads, but also the ways in which this fan group has invested in, and engaged with, the “Margaritaville State of Mind” that Buffett and his fans have cultivated together. Derived from Buffett’s hit song, “Margaritaville,” Buffett’s beach bum escapism ethos has transformed his fandom into an experience and, further, a lifestyle – a state of mind and a state of being – to be enjoyed by his fans whether it is through their celebration of their fandom, or even in the goods and services they purchase. Moreso, this work explores various ways that a tropical escapism lifestyle is evoked and developed by Parrotheads through the many fan activities they engage with as part of belonging to their local Parrothead clubs. Parrotheads have chosen, as an integral part of their fandom, to raise money for local social and environmental charities, all in the name of their fandom. Another aspect examined in this dissertation investigates how Parrotheads are not only developing and becoming active participants, but also performing their fandom in social networking sites developed specifically for them. Ultimately, this project highlights how some music fans are embracing new types of music-centered leisure cultures in contemporary society. Parrotheads are a fascinating example of an organization functioning as a social club, united by love of a musician and his message; in this instance, a literal and figurative investment in Jimmy Buffett and his trop-rock music, from which they have worked together to cultivate a mythical Margaritaville.

Committee:

Radhika Gajjala (Committee Chair); Susana Peña (Committee Member); Donald McQuarie (Committee Member); Robert Sloane (Committee Member); Cindy Hendricks (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American Studies

Keywords:

fandom; adult music fans; American Studies; popular music; Jimmy Buffett; Parrotheads; tropicalization; consumerism; tailgating; fan labor; social networking studies

Christman, AmyConsumerism and Christianity: An Analysis and Response from a Christian Perspective
Undergraduate Honors Program, Malone University, 2015, Honors Thesis
This thesis is an analysis of the effects of consumerism on Christianity. In the United States of America, we consume in an attempt to fill our desires by making material items absolute goods. We look for fulfillment through the process of consuming because advertisers promise fulfillment and happiness, but those feelings never last. This thesis explores four aspects of consumerism and builds a definition of consumerism throughout these four chapters. Each chapter also includes a response as to how Christians can respond to consumerism and how they are called to living differently than consumerism calls us to live. As Christians, we must focus on our ultimate fulfillment coming from God who created us to be in relationship with him. The goal of this thesis was to explore how consumerism can be problematic for Christians but discover how Christians can honor God while still functioning as consumers in the United States.

Committee:

Stephen Moroney, PhD (Advisor); T.C. Ham, PhD (Committee Member); Sue Wechter, PhD (Committee Member); Jay Case, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Biblical Studies; Theology

Keywords:

consumerism; Christianity; absolute good; advertising; ultimate fulfillment; image of God; consumer culture; Ecclesiastes; American Dream

Sutters, Justin PeterTaking Place and Mapping Space: How Pre-Service Art Education Students’ Visual Narratives of Field Experiences in Urban/Inner-City Schools Reveal a Spatial Knowing of Place
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2012, Art Education

This doctoral study concerns itself with how primarily White, suburban, middle-class Art Education pre-service students are prepared in academia to teach in urban/inner-city schools. As a researcher, student-teaching supervisor, Cooperating teacher, and public school Art Educator, the author examines the shifting demographics of public education in an attempt to investigate alternative practices to mitigate problematic issues in the current teacher education model. Drawing heavily on the works of the Critical Geographer Doreen Massey, the author suggests that if “space is seen as being and time as becoming” (2005, p. 29), then a focus on becoming art teacher advances a temporal epistemology. He questions how a shift to a spatial paradigm with an ontological emphasis could allow PSS to focus on being an art teacher instead of becoming one.

This particular study investigates the site observations of four undergraduate students at the Ohio State University that requested and/or agreed to be placed in an urban/inner-city school during their Winter Quarter in 2012. During the 12-week study, the participants collected visual and narrative data of their travels to, entrance into, and occupancy of the school and the surrounding area. Employing the use of hand-held media and ethnographic methods, participants were encouraged to document their experiences and engage in reflexive practices throughout the process. The participants used Google Maps to map out their trajectory to the site as a means of critically examining their positionality in relation to the school. Participants created a visual representation of their learning to disseminate with their peers in a formal presentation at the conclusion of the study.

Committee:

Christine Ballengee-Morris, PhD (Committee Chair); Karen Hutzel, PhD (Committee Member); Jack Richardson, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Art Education; Education; Education Philosophy; Educational Evaluation; Educational Theory; Geographic Information Science; Pedagogy

Keywords:

place, space, art education; art; inner-city; urban education; ethnography; qualitative research; grounded theory; pre-service education; teacher education; GPS; critical race theory; critical geography; Whiteness; travel; tourism; consumerism; race

Landis, Winona LEverything Your Heart Desires: The Limits and Possibilities of Consumer Citizenship
Master of Arts, Miami University, 2013, English
This thesis project examines the notion of "consumer citizenship" as defined by cultural theorist Nestor Garcia Canclini and the ways in which it is illustrated or enacted within the cultural products (texts, music, etc.) of Asian Americans in the twentieth and twenty-first century. More specifically, this project explores the ways in which Asian Americans create a space for themselves in contemporary society through the production and consumption of material and cultural goods. This analysis demonstrates how this "consumer citizenship" can be limiting for minority groups, while at the same time enabling them to craft alternative subjectivities in reaction to conventional consumer culture. In addition, this project analyzes Asian American texts in conjunction with those produced by members of other minority groups, such as Latino/as, in order to demonstrate moments of coalitional possibility within the realm of consumer citizenship.

Committee:

Yu-Fang Cho (Committee Chair); Julie Minich (Committee Member); Anita Mannur (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Asian American Studies; Literature

Keywords:

Citizenship; Consumerism; Asian American Studies; Comparative Racialization; Pop Culture

Storer, Heather J.Authenticity in Branding
Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Ohio University, 2013, Graphic Design (Fine Arts)
It seems as though the practice of branding has become an art of deception. While there is no simple solution to a “quest for authenticity,” there is merit to further exploration and investigation of the idea of authenticity as it relates to branding. We live in an age where a product is not simply sold for product’s sake, but along with that product we are confronted with ideas about lifestyle, personality, history, experience, community, etc. Consumers are attracted to the story-telling aspect of brands; it helps us relate to a product and draws our attention and loyalties. However, consumers also expect some level of honesty from a company…some degree of truth. Finding the place at which "truth" and "story" can overlap will prove to be valuable to both consumers and designers. Consumers will have a heightened awareness of their participation in viewing and interpreting brand messaging as well as a greater attentiveness to brand story-telling devices such as nostalgia. Designers will have a greater consideration for the tactics used in creating brand messaging and how their aesthetic decision-making has such a strong effect on consumer beliefs.

Committee:

Sherry Blankenship (Advisor); Don Adleta (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Design; Marketing

Keywords:

graphic design; branding; authenticity; nostalgia; deception; truth telling; story telling; advertising; marketing; experience-driven; packaging design; consumerism; consumer beliefs; architecture; fake

Bickerstaff, Meghan TriplettOkay, Maybe You Are Your Khakis: Consumerism, Art, and Identity in American Culture
Master of Arts, Miami University, 2004, English
This thesis explores the evolving relationship between the cultural realms of art and the marketplace. The practice of “coolhunting,” or finding original fashions and ideas to co-opt and market to a mainstream audience, is increasingly being used in corporate America. The Toyota Scion and its advertising campaign are examples of such commodification, and they are considered within the context of Roland Marchand and Thomas Frank’s histories and theories of advertising. The novels Pattern Recognition by William Gibson and The Savage Girl by Alex Shakar both feature main characters who are coolhunters, and both approach the problem of the imposition of capital into the realm of art but formulate responses to the problem very differently. This literature offers insight into the important relationship between consumption and identity in American culture in the early twenty-first century.

Committee:

C. Chabot (Advisor)

Keywords:

consumerism; identity; coolhunting; art; marketing; advertising

Senary, Ashley M.Deconstructing the Tszuj: Metrosexuality in Relation to Gender and Sexual Binaries
Master of Arts (MA), Ohio University, 2007, Political Science (Arts and Sciences)
Masculinity, as defined by classical liberalism, has become more malleable as gender and sexual dichotomies have been confounded. The corresponding gender and sexual fluidity that result are, though emancipatory, incongruent with a liberal tradition dependent upon definitive gender norms. Metrosexuality highlights this cultural and theoretical oddity. Its incorporation of subordinate norms and values (feminine/homosexual) into the dominant sphere (masculine/heterosexual) represents a “third way” of examining gender and sexual binaries. A set of qualitative interviews of Ohio University men highlights the many ways in which masculinity and metrosexuality have dismantled hegemonic masculinity in relation to queer, feminist, and political theory.

Committee:

Julie White (Advisor)

Keywords:

Metrosexual; Gender; Masculinity; Queer Theory; Feminism; Queer Eye for the Straight Guy; Qualitative Interviews; Ohio University; Consumerism; Liberalism; Cultural Politics; Homosexuality

Liggett, Lori S.Mothers, Militants, Martyrs, & “M’m! M’m! Good!” Taming the New Woman: Campbell Soup Advertising in Good Housekeeping, 1905 – 1920
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Bowling Green State University, 2006, American Culture Studies/History
Various scholars have examined the historical development of women’s consumer magazines, the advertisements of product manufacturers, and the social construction of the idealized American woman. This study is a qualitative historical analysis of the dramatic cultural turn that took place during the early decades of the twentieth century and how those changes were expressed within the editorial content of Good Housekeeping and the advertisements of iconic food producer, the Campbell Soup Company. Both positioned themselves as vital to women’s education, thereby having a significant effect on the traditional private sphere of womanhood and the male-dominated public sphere. During the years of this study, 1905-1920, the United States was in the midst of rapidly transforming from a small-scale agricultural economy to consumer capitalism, which profoundly reshaped the essential structure of society and changed the fundamental nature of everyday life. The mass production and wide distribution of goods created new public concerns, such as the safety of the food supply and the veracity of advertising claims made by product manufacturers. On the surface, it appeared that Good Housekeeping and Campbell Soup primarily intended to inculcate white, middle-class women in a discourse of consumerism, most often represented by idealized images of the modern New Woman. However, as this study demonstrates, the cultural work done by both entities was far more complex than just instilling consumerist behavior in women. Early on, Good Housekeeping tapped into women’s desire for political participation, and the magazine actively encouraged their mobilization in order to tackle significant national issues, such as purifying the food supply, lowering the infant mortality rate, promoting temperance, maintaining the home front during war, and supporting suffrage. While these efforts were supposed to take place in a manner not detrimental to home life, they did in fact provide an opening for women to have demonstrable impact on American culture and history. Campbell Soup typically promoted traditional roles for women, but it too became a vital component in shaping attitudes about what it meant to be a modern woman, wife, and mother in the early twentieth century – "most often embodied in the idealized images of the New Woman.

Committee:

Marilyn Motz (Advisor)

Keywords:

Campbell Soup Company; Campbell&8217;s Soup; Good Housekeeping; New Woman; women&8217;s magazines; advertising; advertisements; consumerism; consumption; food studies; food and gender; food and women; food safety; food purity; convenience foods

Wight, Philip A.From Citizens to Consumers: The Countercultural Roots of Green Consumerism
Master of Arts (MA), Ohio University, 2013, History (Arts and Sciences)
When did American environmentalism shift from a focus on collective political action to an obsession with personal lifestyles? This thesis investigates three distinct bodies of environmental thought spanning from the 1950s to the mid-1970s to answer this question. These three eco-political philosophies are liberal, eco-socialist, and countercultural environmentalism. The heart of this thesis is the debate among key environmental thinkers--John Kenneth Galbraith, Stewart Brand, and Barry Commoner--concerning the role of individual consumers and the importance of public policy. This debate can be understood as supply-side (producers) versus demand-side (consumers) environmentalism. This thesis argues America's modern paradigm of libertarian, demand-side environmentalism and green consumerism stems from specific values, ideas, lifestyles, and worldviews representative of American counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. In championing individual consumer choice, contemporary environmentalism has largely rejected liberal and eco-socialist prescriptions of collective political action and social democratic governance.

Committee:

Kevin Mattson, Ph.D. (Advisor); Katherine Jellison, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Paul Milazzo, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Alternative Energy; American Studies; Climate Change; Conservation; Ecology; Economic History; Environmental Economics; Environmental Justice; Environmental Studies; History

Keywords:

Green consumerism; Eco-socialism; libertarian environmentalism; free market environmentalism; consumer activism; American environmentalism; history of environmental public policy; Barry Commoner; John Kenneth Galbraith; Stewart Brand

Hetel, Ioana LauraSelves and Shelves. Consumer Society and National Identity in France
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2008, French and Italian

Since the late nineteenth century, France has been confronted with the rapid instauration of consumerism and its society has been shaped by the tension between the political ideal of everyone under one roof and the consumerist ideal of everything under one roof. This study investigates representations of modern shopping sites (department stores and large format retailers such as supermarkets and hypermarkets) and elucidates how representations of retail stores in literature and other textual media have been constructed based on the opposing polarities of lieux de mémoire, intentionally defined as places of identity, of social relations, and of tangible history, and non-lieux, described as unconcerned with identity, non-relational, and ahistorical. This dichotomy, I claim, is the product of a fundamental conflict between a nostalgic view of a nationalistic past and an unavoidable adoption of the modern.

Focusing on the diachronic dimension of French retail and building on McNair's wheel of retailing, I theorize the model of the cultural wheel of retailing in order to illuminate how and why the same type of store is constructed as either a site of memory or a non-place at different time periods. Then, shifting my attention to the post-1945 period, I analyze the emergence and spread of large format retailers by successively focusing on each of the five meaning-making loci of culture: production, consumption, regulation, identity, and representation. With these insights in mind, I move to the investigation of six postwar French novels (Christiane Rochefort's Les Stances à Sophie, Georges Perec's Les Choses, Simone de Beauvoir's Les Belles images, J.M.G. Le Clézio's Les Géants, Frédéric Beigbeder's 99 Francs, and Jean-Christophe Rufin's Globalia) and identify the presence in them of a chronotope of dystopic consumption, a sub-surface combinational scheme that manifests itself through the presence of six synergetic themes: shopping, the happiness myth, advertising, good consumers and bad citizens, Americanization, and books and reading as antidotes to consumerism. Since large format retailers are both objects of fiction and sites for commercializing literary texts, I also investigate the problematic journey of literature from the shelves of bookstores to the shelves of the grandes surfaces.

Committee:

Karlis Racevskis (Advisor); Danielle Marx-Scouras (Advisor); Jennifer Willging (Committee Member); Fritz Graf (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Economic History; French Canadian Literature; Literature; Marketing

Keywords:

French literature; consumer society; consumerism; national identity; French retailing

Armentrout, Jenny A.Sugar, Salt, and Fat: Michelle Obama's Rhetoric Concerning the Let's Move! Initiative, Binary Opposition, Weight Obsession, and the Obesity Paradox
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Bowling Green State University, 2011, Communication Studies
The goal of this project was to conduct a textual analysis on the social and political implications of First Lady Michelle Obama’s rhetorical artifacts from 2009 to 2011 regarding her childhood obesity campaign and widely-supported initiative entitled Let's Move! The analysis examined the remarks made by Michelle Obama regarding childhood obesity at five separate speaking engagements. The research focused on the rhetorical and social construction of weight, while emphasizing the immediate need for policy-change and a human rights focus in relation to weight discourses. The major objective of this work was to investigate discursive and symbolic themes of empowerment, peace-building, violence, dehumanization, globalization, sustainability, consumption, consumerism, and performativity while drawing on critical rhetorical studies and health communication scholarship to challenge the status quo of binary opposition, weight obsession, and the obesity paradox in lieu of contemporary US weight discourses.

Committee:

Ellen Gorsevski, PhD (Advisor); Radhika Gajjala, PhD (Committee Member); Lara Lengel, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American Studies; Communication; Environmental Studies; Gender Studies; Health; Kinesiology; Language; Mass Communications; Mass Media; Multimedia Communications; Peace Studies; Public Health; Rhetoric; Social Structure; Womens Studies

Keywords:

weight discourses; obesity; fat; rhetorical criticism; communication; Michelle Obama; sustainability; globalization; consumption; consumerism; peace-building; violence; empowerment; dehumanization; binary opposition; weight obsession; obesity paradox

Sinicki, Justin M.A Social Psychological Perspective on Student Consumerism
Master of Arts, University of Toledo, 2017, Sociology
With colleges and universities functioning more as businesses, students have been conceptualized as consumers and customers of the “products” and services “sold” by higher education institutions. Anecdotally, a considerable amount of college students have consumer-orientations. This rise in student consumerism has not only transformed student ideologies regarding the purpose of higher education, but its negatively impacting student behavior and learning processes inside the classroom. However, empirical studies have yet to support the suggested prevalence of student consumerism. Additionally, no study has attempted to understand student consumerism at the social psychological level. Using an electronic survey administered to undergraduate students at a public university, this pilot study shows that student-consumer orientations are moderate at best, and many students do not agree with certain beliefs or behaviors that are attributed to consumer-orientations. At the social psychological level, multiple regression results indicated student consumer attitudes are significantly associated with social exchanges or activities involving academic costs. Furthermore, the results suggested that males find academic activities or exchanges more costly than females, and males also find putting off academic work for non-academic social exchanges or activities more rewarding than females. In using a social psychological perspective on student consumerism, this pilot study will contribute to future research that explores students educational decision-making processes.

Committee:

Patricia Case, Dr. (Committee Chair); Karie Peralta, Dr. (Committee Member); Barbara Coventry, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Educational Psychology; Educational Sociology; Higher Education; Social Psychology; Sociology

Keywords:

Student consumerism; student customer-orientation; student consumer-orientation; Social Exchange Theory; the commodification of higher education; social psychology; decision-making processes; rewards; costs; neoliberalism; gender inequality

Brehm, Stephanie Nicole“Shalom, God Bless, and Please Exit to the Right:” A Cultural Ethnography of the Holy Land Experience
Master of Arts, Miami University, 2011, Comparative Religion
This thesis explores the intersection of evangelical Christianity, entertainment, and consumerism in America through a cultural ethnography of the Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando, Florida. This case study examines the diversity within the evangelical subculture and the blurring of the line between sacred and secular in American popular culture. In this thesis, I begin by discussing the historical lineage of American evangelical entertainment and consumerism, as well as disneyfication theories. I then classify the Holy Land Experience as a contemporary form of disneyfied evangetainment. Finally, I delve into the implications of classifying this theme park as a sacred space, a pilgrimage, or a replica, and I explore the types of worship and material objects sold and purchased at the Holy Land Experience.

Committee:

Peter Williams, PhD (Advisor); James Bielo, PhD (Committee Member); James Hanges, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American Studies; Religion

Keywords:

Holy Land Experience; evangelical Christianity; entertainment; consumerism; commodification; evangetainment; disney; Trinity Broadcast Network

Weaver, Angela L.Public Negotiation: Magazine Culture and Female Authorship, 1900-1930
Doctor of Philosophy, Miami University, 2009, English

This dissertation analyzes the convergence of modernism, print culture, feminism, True Womanhood, and the early careers of four female writers. At this crucial moment, Gertrude Stein, Dorothy Parker, Edna Ferber, and Alice Dunbar-Nelson each publicly negotiated with the dominant rhetorical and ideological registers of the emerging magazine market, infusing the available means of representation with new, sometimes transformative meanings. In the 1910s and 1920s, magazines served to spread a conservative ideology of womanhood more widely and rapidly than at any previous historical moment. This study asks how a writer secures a paycheck from an organ whose purpose was to promote the very politics she resists in her own writing. How did female writers construct their identities early in their careers while also challenging popular constructions of female identity from within a rapidly expanding print culture? To understand early twentieth century American literature, we must understand the strategies women used to ensure that a variety of experiences of modernity—female, working woman, Jewish, lesbian, African-American—found expression in print culture.

There is no single pattern of negotiation; each woman responds in her own way. Stein retained control, persistently making it difficult for venues with a certain claim to modernism to refuse her critique. Parker developed an aesthetic of ironic wit, using humor to challenge conservative ideologies and to draw readers into a critique of themselves. Dunbar-Nelson conflated the passing narrative with the more popular romance narrative to develop a powerful critique of racism and sexism in magazine culture, while Ferber used business rhetoric to create the nation’s most popular and controversial female protagonist. Each author posed important challenges to the ideological positions of their magazines and reading audiences. Each of these writer’s responses provides a powerful example of how periodical culture required that female writers both perform and subvert popular constructions of womanhood to achieve success.

Committee:

Timothy Melley, PhD (Committee Chair); Madelyn Detloff, PhD (Committee Member); Martha Schoolman, PhD (Committee Member); Marguerite Shaffer, PhD (Committee Member); Andrew Hebard, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American Literature; American Studies

Keywords:

authorship; feminism; print culture; consumerism; magazine; magazine culture; Crisis; Little Review; Ladies' Home Journal; Vogue; Emma McChesney; work; Alice Dunbar Nelson; Gertrude Stein; Dorothy Parker; Gertrude Stein; Edna Ferber

Heron, Jason AndrewThe Analogia Communitatis: Leo XIII and the Modern Quest for Fraternity
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), University of Dayton, 2016, Theology
This dissertation examines the social magisterium of Pope Leo XIII as it is developed in the aftermath of the French Revolution and during the nationalizing process of the liberal Italian state. The thesis of the dissertation is that Leo XIII provides Catholic social teaching with a proper vision of human relationship as a mode of analogical participation in the Lord’s goodness. In his own historical context, Leo’s analogical vision of social relations is developed in tension with the nation-state’s proposal of political citizenship as the social relation that relativizes every other relation – most especially one’s ecclesial relation. In our own context, Leo’s analogical vision of social relations stands in tension with the late-modern proposal of consumerism as the social reality that relativizes every other relation – including one’s matrimonial, familial, social, and ecclesial relations.

Committee:

Kelly Johnson, Ph.D. (Advisor); Russell Hittinger, Ph.D. (Committee Member); William Portier, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Jana Bennett, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Michael Carter, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

History; Philosophy; Religious History; Social Structure; Theology

Keywords:

Catholic Social Teaching; social theory; political theory; citizenship; nationalism; consumerism; 19th century Catholicism; social Catholicism; Leo XIII; modern papal teaching; Catholic social magisterium; theological anthropology; social anthropology

Neilson, Lisa AnneSocial capital and political consumerism: a multilevel analysis
Master of Arts, The Ohio State University, 2006, Sociology
For some consumers, political consumerism is a form of civic engagement. With both consumption behavior and civic engagement embedded in social relations, I propose that social capital is a predictor of the link between the two – political consumerism. I hypothesize that: 1) individuals with greater social capital are more likely to politically consume than those with less social capital, and 2) individuals in regions whose members are socially integrated and trusting of each other and their institutions are more likely to politically consume than individuals in regions with lower social capital. The underlying rationale is that numerous, positive social interactions provide motivation, information, and skills for influencing social change. Using data from the 2002/2003 European Social Survey, I test the effects of individual and regional characteristics on political consumerism using multilevel modeling. My final dataset represents 23,746 individuals nested in 209 within-country regions. I find support for my hypothesis that individuals with greater social capital are more likely to be political consumers than those with less social capital. Support for my second hypothesis is less clear, with two of the four region-level social capital variables showing a positive but possibly mediated effect on political consumerism, and the other two showing no effect. While individual-level effects are more important in predicting political consumerism, region-level effects are not inconsequential.

Committee:

Pamela Paxton (Advisor)

Subjects:

Sociology, General

Keywords:

social capital; civic engagement; political consumerism; consumer sociology

Sabatini, Gerald AndrewGraffiti Architecture: Alternative Methodologies for the Appropriation of Space
MARCH, University of Cincinnati, 2008, Design, Architecture, Art and Planning : Architecture (Master of)

Post-war socioeconomic shifts have reconfigured the built environment to complex networks of private, commodified zones masquerading as public space. These spaces are inextricably linked to marketing strategies, financial gains, sustained economic growth. Here, actual uses and potential new uses of space are forcefully suppressed. This is evidenced by the War on Graffiti.

Graffiti causes no structural damage; because it disrupts the image of space it is fought and suppressed. An investigation into its constructs might unveil a complex political infrastructure which implicates society, consumerism, and architecture. Thus, the goal of this thesis is to investigate the disconnect between mediated use of space built from image and the actual use of space built from need, to establish a methodology that translates the politics of graffiti from visual/graphic to spatial/occupiable. The found paradigms will be applied to three designs: a rural cycling lane, privacy shells in suburbia, and an urban workplace.

Committee:

Michael McInturf (Committee Chair); Tilman Jeff (Committee Co-Chair)

Subjects:

Architecture; Art Education; Art History; Design

Keywords:

graffiti; appropriation; destruction; creation; art; society consumerism; architecture design; sixties modernism; post-modernism; consumer related design; lebbeus woods baudrillard; guy debord detournment

McClellan, Kelsey ErinThe Organic Imperative
BA, Kent State University, 2011, College of the Arts / School of Art
Architecture and fashion have historically been considered somewhat parallel disciplines in that both fulfill a unique role in dual service to human functionality and artistic expression. However, this so-called “timeless relevance” is largely lacking from the modern practice of fashion as evidenced by rampant consumerism, consumer frustration, and a growing quantity of textile goods in both landfills and thrift store donation bins. This thesis proposes that fashion can meet its promise for relevance, expression, and functionality through the application of organic principles. This argument requires examination of the body-clothing connection, critique of contemporary fashion’s implementation, exploration of the origins of ‘Organic Architecture,’ and application of these principles to fashion. By realizing the organic imperative in design, fabrication, production, and even consumer purchase, fashion can take on a timeless relevance, and be worthy of the high platform modern culture lends to it.

Committee:

Jean Druesedow (Advisor); Noel Palomo-Lovinski (Committee Member); Diane Davis-Sikora (Committee Member); Elizabeth Howard (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Design

Keywords:

sustainability; fashion design; fashion; second skin; organic architecture; organic; Frank Lloyd Wright; organic design; consumerism; mass-production; green initiatives; slow fashion; eco-design; fashion ethics

Okango, Joyce Khalibwa"Fair and Lovely": The Concept of Skin Bleaching and Body Image Politics In Kenya
Master of Arts (MA), Bowling Green State University, 2017, Popular Culture
The practice of skin bleaching or chemically lightening of skin has become a worldwide concern particularly in the past three decades. In Africa, these practices are increasingly becoming problematic due to the circumstances surrounding the procedure and the underlying health risks. Despite these threats, skin bleaching and other body augmentation procedures remain prevalent around the world. This thesis uses a multi-pronged approach in examining the concept of skin bleaching and body image politics in Kenya. I argue that colonial legacies, globalization, increase in the use of technology, and the digitization of Kenya television broadcasting has had a great impact on the spread and shift of cultures in Kenya resulting to such practices. I will also look at the role of a commercial spaces within a city in enabling and providing access to such practices to middle and lower class citizens. Additionally, this study aims at addressing the importance of decolonizing Kenyans concerning issues surrounding beauty and body image.

Committee:

Jeffrey Brown, Dr. (Advisor); Jeremy Wallach, Dr. (Committee Member); Esther Clinton, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

African Studies; Gender Studies; Sub Saharan Africa Studies; Womens Studies

Keywords:

Skin bleaching; Skin lightening; Gender; Consumerism; Colonization; Globalization; Body; Beauty

Spring, DawnSelling Brand America: The Advertising Council and the ‘Invisible Hand’ of Free Enterprise, 1941-1961
PhD, University of Cincinnati, 2009, Arts and Sciences : History

Selling Brand America: The Advertising Council and the ‘Invisible Hand’ of Free Enterprise, 1941-1961 explores the relationship between American advertisers and the federal government. Since the 1940’s, American advertising companies have worked closely with – the United States government; major broadcasters such as ABC, CBS, and NBC; popular magazines such as Reader’s Digest, Time and Life; market research and psychological testing organizations such as the AC Nielsen, the Gallup poll, and the Psychological Corporation; and brand name corporations such as Coca-Cola, Ford, Kodak, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, General Foods, and General Motors – to persuade public opinion at home and abroad.

Since its inception as the War Advertising Council in 1941, the Advertising Council, known in the twenty-first Century as the Ad Council, has coordinated public service campaigns and brought government agencies together with the media and brand name corporations. Originally, intent on making sure advertising remained a vital part of capitalism, education, the media, politics, and religion, the Advertising Council helped these organizations pursue an economic and political strategy in which the United States led the world in a geo-political order based on the consumption of advertised brand name goods. These early evangelists of the system called the system free enterprise. To them the term meant a system in which government and business worked together to stimulate the mass consumption of brand name goods using advertising across all major media.

Committee:

Wayne Durrill, PhD (Committee Chair); Christopher Phillips, PhD (Committee Member); Geoffrey Plank, PhD (Committee Member); Allan Winkler, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American History

Keywords:

advertising; brand management; brand name corporations; capitalism; cold war; consumerism; free enterprise; foreign policy; overseas broadcast programs; overseas information programs; RFE; United States policy

Roberts, Chadwick LeeConsuming Liberation: Playgirl and the Strategic Rhetoric of Sex Magazines for Women 1972-1985
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Bowling Green State University, 2011, American Culture Studies/Communication

This dissertation considers how heterosexual women’s sexual pleasure was negotiated in the popular and underground press in the 1970s, focusing particularly on two virtually unexamined parts of U.S. culture: sex magazines for women and woman-authored underground comics. Publications such as Playgirl, Viva, and Foxylady reveal essential differences between sex magazines for men and those for women, particularly how each type of publication addressed its readers through editorial content as well as advertising and marketing. Through the marketing of male centerfolds for women, women were asked to consider their sexual appetites for men’s bodies as equivalent to those of heterosexual men for women’s bodies. This project argues that sex magazines for women offered an evolving narrative of sexual liberation that was intrinsically wedded to, and in constant conversation with, the women’s movement. Playgirl and its competitors strategically embraced some of the tenets and language of the women’s movement while generally refusing to support the movement as a whole. This dissertation examines how the visibility and cultural influence of the women’s movement encouraged male magazine publishers to employ women editors as spokespersons. These women wrote often of sexual liberation, but they avoided engaging in any systematic critique of male power in society or heterosexual relationships.

The final chapters take a broader view of the publishing industry and women’s sexuality in the 1970s. They examine representations of women’s sexuality in woman-authored underground comics, publications with titles such as Tits and Clits and Wet Satin, and the impact of these representations on sexual culture in the United States. It argues that woman-authored underground comics exemplify approaches to sexual imagery and women’s sexuality that emerged out of feminist consciousness. The authors of these comics negotiated their own brand of feminist sexuality and their work is indicative of what is possible when women’s bodies are oriented as the center of women’s sexual universe. The concluding chapter examines the ways in which the model of female sexuality proposed by Playgirl continues to engage with and influence discussions of women’s sexuality and the place of sexual imagery in U.S. culture.

Committee:

Leigh Ann Wheeler (Advisor); Gary Oates (Committee Member); Vivian Patraka (Committee Member); Donald McQuarie (Committee Co-Chair); William Albertini (Committee Member)

Keywords:

Helen Gurley Brown; Burt Reynolds; pin-up; advertising; feminism; women's movement; women in publishing; underground press; male nudity; Playgirl; Playboy; Cosmopolitan; popular culture; consumerism; sexuality; women's sexuality; magazines; 1970s

Ratliff, KariLife & Lifestyle Makeovers: The Promotion of Materialism in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Master of Arts, Miami University, 2007, Mass Communication
Each week on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, one family is selected to receive a surprise home makeover, including a new or entirely renovated home and the latest appliances and furnishings. However, these families, whose application videos are often dramatic accounts of great personal hardship, also seem to be hoping a new house and all of the trimmings will somehow make all of their problems simply disappear so they can once again be content. This thesis examines how, through its narrative of personal transformation, the show is promoting an ideology of materialism in which people feel driven to purchase material things in order to achieve personal happiness and fulfillment. It also examines how the show functions as an advertisement by way of product placement, further promoting materialism.

Committee:

Lisa McLaughlin (Advisor)

Subjects:

Mass Communications

Keywords:

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition; home makeovers; cosmetic change; materialism; consumerism; television; reality shows; advertising; product placement

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