What we feared. An inquiry into propaganda, persuasion, and George Orwell’s 1984. Persuasion and Propaganda . ‘Propaganda’ was first coined in 1622 when Pope Gregory XV established “the Sacred Congregation for Propagating the Faith”.
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What we feared. An inquiry into propaganda, persuasion, and George Orwell’s 1984.
Persuasion and Propaganda • ‘Propaganda’ was first coined in 1622 when Pope Gregory XV established “the Sacred Congregation for Propagating the Faith”. • The term came to be known as a method to convince large numbers of people to believe a certain set of given ideas. • Propaganda has been traditionally used to achieve distinct measures in war, but has also been used for the benefit of social movements.
Tactics of Propaganda • Bandwagon: Pump up the value of 'joining the party'. • Card-stacking: Build a highly-biased case for your position. • Glittering Generalities: Use power words to evoke emotions. • Name-calling: Demeaning opponents. • Plain Folks: Making the leader seem ordinary increases trust and credibility. • Testimonial: The testimony of an independent person is seen as more trustworthy. • Transfer: Associate the leader with trusted others.
George Orwell • Published “1984” in June1949, not long after the end of WWII and at the beginning of the Cold War. • This book encapsulated many people’s fears about the role of the government in individual freedom. • Significantly impacted the way people thought about persuasion.
O’Brien held up his left hand, its back towards Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended. ‘How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?’ ‘Four.’ ‘And if the party says that it is not four but five — then how many?’ ‘Four.’ The word ended in a gasp of pain. The needle of the dial had shot up to fifty-five. The sweat had sprung out all over Winston’s body. The air tore into his lungs and issued again in deep groans which even by clenching his teeth he could not stop. O’Brien watched him, the four fingers still extended. He drew back the lever. This time the pain was only slightly eased. ‘How many fingers, Winston?’ ‘Four.’ The needle went up to sixty. ‘How many fingers, Winston?’
‘Four! Four! What else can I say? Four!’ The needle must have risen again, but he did not look at it. The heavy, stern face and the four fingers filled his vision. The fingers stood up before his eyes like pillars, enormous, blurry, and seeming to vibrate, but unmistakably four. ‘How many fingers, Winston?’ ‘Four! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Four! Four!’ ‘How many fingers, Winston?’ ‘Five! Five! Five!’ ‘No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?’ ‘Four! five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!’ Abruptly he was sitting up with O’Brien’s arm round his shoulders. He had perhaps lost consciousness for a few seconds. The bonds that had held his body down were loosened. He felt very cold, he was shaking uncontrollably, his teeth were chattering, the tears were rolling down his cheeks. For a moment he clung to O’Brien like a baby, curiously comforted by the heavy arm round his shoulders. He had the feeling that O’Brien was his protector, that the pain was something that came from outside, from some other source, and that it was O’Brien who would save him from it. ‘You are a slow learner, Winston,’ said O’Brien gently.
Reflection • What ideas are illustrated in both various forms of propaganda and Orwell’s 1984? • What means of control did people during this period fear the most? Is that the same fear modern Americans still have? • Was Orwell correct in his assumptions that governments would try to control people in this way? • How did this inform society’s fear of media in the mid-twentieth century? Can you see any effects of this fear still lingering today?
Orwell was correct… in his time. • In a time before the television was the medium of choice in American life, Orwell commentated on the ability of media to spread fear amongst citizens and change their beliefs about the world. • The best example comes from Orson Welles’ 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds. • An estimated 9 million adults heard broadcast. • 28% thought it was news. • 1.2 million frightened.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGUuUudv53k • It became evident that media and persuasion needed to be studied and understood more thoroughly. • This unit will provide basic inquiry into the discipline of media studies.
Brief History • Before the radio and television became common features in American homes, most advertising was done in print form. • This refers to images and text that are physical in nature • Ex. Newspaper, magazines, and billboards • With the widespread use of television, advertising has become much more powerful than it once was previously. • Has the power to reach many groups of people simultaneously.
What a long, strange trip its been. • Before the institution of laws defending consumers against false advertising schemes, companies could basically say whatever they wanted to in order to make their products more marketable. • For instance…
Many of these advertisements were not only dangerous, but deeply offensive…
Modern Advertising • While the danger and bias of these ads are evident, is it safe to say that we have abandoned many of these tactics as a culture? • Take a few minutes to discuss this with a partner.
Children as a special audience • Children aged 2-7 are often the target of extreme false advertising that they cannot understand • Piaget’s developmental stages • Preoperational (2-7) • Difficulty separating fantasy from reality • Egocentrism
What about these characters may confuse young children? What makes these characters different from….
Sugary Cereals and Children • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0DbM0Zet1k
Sugary Cereals and Children • There is a higher amount of cereal companies that advertise during children’s programming than elsewhere. • Historically, companies advertised in comic books and during children’s radio shows. • Sugary cereals are placed closer to the floor in grocery stores to entice children to ask their parents to buy them. • Companies employ cartoonish characters that mimic stimuli that children have already become accustomed to. • Often portray adults as incompetent and foolish. • Tactics that advertisers use are still target certain demographics through less than ethical means.
Analyzing Visual Ads The spectator’s gaze: the gaze of the viewer at an image of a person (or animal, or object) in the text; The intra-diegetic gaze: a gaze of one depicted person at another (or at an animal or an object) within the world of the text (typically depicted in filmic and televisual media by a subjective ‘point-of-view shot’); The extra-diegetic gaze to the viewer: the gaze of a person (or quasi-human being) depicted in the text looking ‘out of the frame’ as if at the viewer, with associated gestures and postures (in some genres, direct address is studiously avoided); The look of the camera: the way that the camera itself appears to look at the people (or animals or objects) depicted; less metaphorically, the gaze of the filmmaker or photographer.
Advertising and Controversy • While controversy certainly still exists in the world of advertising, successful companies have taken more to promoting a certain brand image. • However, after careful analysis of these promoted images, it may be possible to synthesize a deeper, more complicated meaning from simple visual images. • Finally, as a reflection, is it possible to make a statement about the current state of sexualized advertising? Is advertising slanted towards a certain perspective or set of beliefs? Do certain demographics get the metaphoric “short end of the stick” when it comes to representation in advertising? What stereotypes does this help enforce?
widespread use • social media is the fastest growing form of communication ever in the history of human interaction. • as of february 2012, there were 1 billion registered facebook users. • it is becoming increasingly evident that social media needs to be studied in order to improve its effectiveness and appropriateness.
How To Vote via Texting EXAMPLE Standard texting rates only (worst case US $0.20) We have no access to your phone number Capitalization doesn’t matter, but spaces and spelling do TIPS
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advertising • various companies have taken to social media to increase consumer response, reach new audiences, and gather new ideas. • from the following examples, attempt to answer these questions: • what groups are these brands targeting? How can you tell? • does this brands’ social media outlet represent the products/services they provide? • what brand image is this company trying to convey? How can you tell?
the necessity of social media etiquette • every time someone posts on or updates a social media outlet, they are participating in the construction of their very own brand image. • these can be specifically tailored to fit a certain niche or can be completely incidental. • however, whether the user likes it or not, this image effects the way that others view your offline entity. • further, in a world where people communicate 40% more online than they do off, it is important to consider this extension of oneself. • most importantly, 86% percent of employers use social media to conduct background checks on prospective employees. • careless online behavior has the power to cost real world jobs, money, and status.
the necessity of social media etiquette • Just some guidelines to inform proper online behavior:
Current Qualms Huxley, Vonnegut, and Postman