Watch The Story of Stuff, in which Annie Leonard discusses the industrial production system and its use of natural resources to create and spread modern material culture. Then focusing directly on the world of commercial images, watch Advertising & The End of the World, in which Sut Jhally asks some basic questions about the cultural messages coming from the market-based view of the world: Do our present arrangements deliver what they claim — happiness and satisfaction? Can we think about our collective as well as our private interests? And, can we think long-term as well as short-term?
Drawing from the broad arena of commercial imagery, you are encouraged here to reflect on your own personal participation in the culture of consumption and share how you experience it.
Making the connection between society’s high-consumption lifestyle and the coming environmental crisis, Leonard and Jhally force us to evaluate the physical and material costs of the consumer society and how long we can maintain our present level of production.
Write the answers to the following five questions as you watch the videos, then compose a reflection paper by sharing and discussing your responses. The assignment is due before 5:00 pm on Friday, Nov. 30th.
How do ads influence what we value?
Since collected values form our social norms, what is the effect of the above?
How do ads tell us to achieve happiness?How does advertising define what society is?
How does advertising influence how we perceive the future?
What did you find most surprising or interesting about these videos?
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