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Goods as communicators and satisfiers: Leiss Kline Jhally Botterill

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Christina Ceisel

on 17 September 2014

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Transcript of Goods as communicators and satisfiers: Leiss Kline Jhally Botterill

How and why did commodities attain symbolic meaning?

What does the reading tell us about how and why we consume?

The authors argue that advertising doesn't "sell"--rather, it changes our relationship to the product--what is the process by which this happens? ?

How did goods and consumption become central to our sense of happiness and success?
1. recognition of consumption as a legitimate area for individual self-realization
2. discovery that interpersonal or social domains are the core of merchandising
3. advances in communication and mass media, allowing for the evolution of advertising formats.
The social process of consumption:

"consumption activity is the
of what 'satisfaction' means in the lives of individuals" (228)
How do individuals achieve satisfaction/
Relative social standing
in the consumer marketplace, our sense of well-being is based on subjective estimates of where we stand in relationship to others and what values are most important
Structure of Advertising

1. image
2. icon
3. symbol
Ads should appeal to as many people as possible

But, as if speaking directly to them as individuals
Suggest routes to happiness
Double symbolic process:

Businesses incorporate their understanding of consumer preferences into the physical and symbolic characteristics of the product

Consumers create their own self-images and preference patterns in unanticipated ways
"open codes"

"restricted codes"
"Image pool"

1. redescribes reality
2. ambiguity
3. fluidity

Consumption is a social process


relative standing

Why don't we become
increasingly content as our
income increases?
Two qualities of objects

1. material
2. symbolic/imputed
How and why
do goods resonate with us?
Full transcript