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Reframing the Discourse: Advertising Rhetoric Fails to Combat Islamophobia. Eric Van Steenburg Doctoral Student University of North Texas Society for Marketing Advances Nov. 5, 2011. Agenda. Background Framing Islam Terror Management Theory Methodology for Advertising Critique Analysis

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reframing the discourse advertising rhetoric fails to combat islamophobia

Reframing the Discourse: Advertising Rhetoric Fails to Combat Islamophobia

Eric Van Steenburg

Doctoral Student

University of North Texas

Society for Marketing Advances

Nov. 5, 2011

agenda
Agenda
  • Background
  • Framing Islam
  • Terror Management Theory
  • Methodology for Advertising Critique
  • Analysis
  • Recommendations
  • Questions
background
Background
  • Islamophobia
  • Political rhetoric
  • Addressing the issue
  • CAIR Ad Campaign
  • Research Question
  • Research
framing islam
Framing Islam
  • “Freedom came under attack” (Bush 2001)
  • Good vs. Evil (Aslan 2009; Ivie 2007)
  • Theological basis (Murphy 2003; Ivie 2007)
  • “Axis of Evil” (Bush 2002)
  • Negative Differences (McPhail 1991)
  • Complicity (McPhail 1994, 2002)
  • Media’s role (Aly & Green 2008; Love 2009; Merskin 2003;

Pew Forum 2007; Rozell 2010; Vultee 2006, 2009)

terror management theory
Terror Management Theory
  • Mortality or jeopardized safety leads to

increase in negative evaluations of other

(Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon 1986)

  • Threatens individual’s beliefs and values

(Rosenblatt et al. 1989)

  • Dehumanize the outgroup (Rosenblatt et al. 1989)
  • Effects on Good vs. Evil worldview
  • Discredit spokesperson
  • Muslims inherently un-American and a threat
slide7

An ad’s meaning depends on a shared agreement in social communication where individual interpretation is governed by the social context of familiar patterns and themes combined with allusions to social and historical contexts.

– Dr. Barbara Stern (1989)

methodology
Methodology
  • Use of literary criticism (Stern 1989; Stern 1991;

Stern & Gallagher 1990)

  • Four-step methodology to critique (Stern 1989):
  • Analytical accounting of the text
  • Analysis of the context through sociocultural and historical perspectives
  • Structural and semiotic analysis
  • Consideration of who the audience is and what the desired outcome is of the message originator
analysis
Analysis
  • Social construct with shared global context
  • Cultural ideology embedded in messages
  • Situates in a communal cultural ideology
  • Evokes established meaning
  • Reinforce a cultural worldview
analysis1
Analysis
  • Narrative approach
  • Opening establishes the framework
  • Slowly provides contextual evidence
  • Text completes the link
  • Narrator as familiar “hero” narrative
analysis2
Analysis
  • Thoughts of our mortality, threats to our

safety, or moments of fear can have the

effect of entrenching our cultural

worldviews (Rosenblatt et al. 1989).

  • Significant relationship between mortality

salience and reformation of individual

established perspectives (Greenberg et al.

1986; Pyszczynski et al. 2010; Rosenblatt et al. 1989)

  • Closely held beliefs about Islam and Muslims

should surface

analysis3
Analysis
  • Symbolic codes of the ad (Stern 1989)
  • Music – Depressing, serious, intended

discomfort, anticipatory importance

and/or impending doom

  • Visual framing
  • Waist view to a close-up
  • Fade to black
  • Fade in and out of text
  • Close-up at announcement
  • Identifier
  • Intent – Tension, evoke emotional response
analysis4
Analysis
  • Purpose of using a narrator in an ad is to

affect persuasion (Stern 1992)

  • Audio and visual elements along with text

place viewers into context and provides a

framework for advertisement experience

  • Depicts relationship between ad’s content,

form, and values (Stern & Gallagher 1990).

  • Content creates a meaning that conveys

values not only by what the message is,

but how it is communicated.

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Establishing faith of the narrator reminds

viewer of dichotomous framework

established in our culture

  • Narrator becomes “other” and the cultural

worldview of good vs. evil is confirmed

  • The choice to identify the narrators as

Muslim undermines the credibility of the

characters, thus nullifying any effects of

persuasion.

recommendations
Recommendations
  • Providing factual information to combat a

cultural worldview also entrenches that

worldview (Nyhan & Reifler 2010)

  • Staking a contradictory position or affirming

the opposite rarely works in correcting

misperceptions. Makes subject resist

changes to ideologies that existed prior

to the correction (Nyhan & Reifler 2010)

  • Can public opinion, when based on incorrect

information, be corrected?

recommendations1
Recommendations
  • Priming the event
  • Unsettling conclusion
  • Third-party narrative
  • Islamic faith focus
  • Condemn terrorism
  • Women’s status
  • American image
ad