By T. Sheffield
This groundbreaking paintings explores media student Sut Jhally's thesis that advertisements features as a faith in past due capitalism and relates this to serious theological stories. Sheffield argues that advertisements isn't itself a faith, yet that it comprises non secular dimensions--analogous to Durkheim's description of gadgets as totems.
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Extra info for The Religious Dimensions of Advertising (Religion Culture Critique)
In this way, advertising creates totems through which individuals are known in their consumption clan. To assert that advertising creates totemic consumption clans does not mean that I discount the alienating practices of the fetishism of commodities. As stated previously, an individual is separated from the modes of production through the fetishism of commodities in the culture of consumer capitalism. Insofar as I argue that advertising is not a fetish religion, I recognize that the process of emptying Totemic Desires 27 objects of their former meaning and replacing them with the meaning that advertising gives is an act of fetishization in a Marxian sense.
But what are these totems? It will not be one emblem specifically, but a few— technological gadgets, luxurious cars, mansions, fur coats, expensive jewelry, brand name clothes—that represent an ethic of consumerism that mediates the human and object relationship of the culture of consumer capitalism. 79 Through these amazing portable devices, individuals are marked as part of the iPod consumption clan with the image created by the cool, hip advertisements of individuals dancing to the rhythm emanating from their musical totem.
46 This 22 Religious Dimensions of Advertising stage produced desires for the individual by marketing and reflecting back to the individual a fantasized completion of those desires while subsuming them into collective desires. In other words, individual desires were posited as group desires yet never explicitly marketed as such. The individual was always presented as having some sort of independence from the group in order to develop and maintain these narcissistic desires. 47 Advertising gives meaning to objects that have been emptied of their original meaning; in this way, advertising frames the very heart of the relationship between people and objects through products functioning as totems for clan membership.
The Religious Dimensions of Advertising (Religion Culture Critique) by T. Sheffield