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Archive for the ‘Barrack Obama’ Category

By Jhansher Khan

Determinism, is the idea that we must think in extremes and only through one model or idea. However, when assessing a reason for why anything occurs, there is more likely multiple reasons and explanations that are at hand. The theorist I would like to bring up, whom is very deterministic would be Marshal McLuhan. His type of view is that society changes due to thriving technology and that is the only driving factor in this case. In the book, “The Toronto School of Communication Theory: Interpretations, Extensions, Applications,” the author states, “What about the institutional power and political implications of electronic communication?”(86)

It is true that besides technology, there are political and corporate factors at play. According to McLuhan’s view, society is heavily ingrained in the idea of the printing press, since that is where technology seemed to begin in the media and newspapers were one of the first mediums in society. Newspapers were a source of enrichment and education, as well as an outlook of the outside world. Through this medium, the media was able to exercise its own power and domination over people in society. It could be at times bias or misleading as well, which brings in the idea of how the political and corporate world begin to use these mediums, as well as the idea of cultural factors being imbedded behind messages. If a government for example wanted to use this medium to justify acts of war for example, through the newspaper, a one sided biased article may explain how the government essentially has the right to invade another country. Therefore, the use of mediums can lead to corruption and deceit in society.

As technology developed over time, new mediums were formed and generally the same messages and the idea of control was implemented. The invention of televisions, the radio, and computers for example are used in modern times. All this new technology did was open up a new window of opportunity for the corporate and political world to reach us in society. This idea of reaching us and conveying messages to us has been implemented for years, regardless of technology. The only major change is that it is now much easier to convey messages across to us, since the mediums we use in modern day society can be flooded with advertisements put forth by corporations. Therefore, we are more manipulated now than ever.

An advertisement does not necessarily just sell products, but presents us with certain ideas that corporations want us to absorb in everyday lives. Even the political world may use advertising, it is not just limited by the corporate world. One example that was more prevalent in the past two years was the idea of Barrack Obama running as a presidential candidate in the United States of America in the democratic party. Certain ideas were created in his campaign, such as the idea of “change” during the aftermath of an economic crisis caused by the previous government. There were multiple advertisements for his campaign and he eventually took a stand in popular culture as some sort of political prophet that would take office and would succeed in completely reshaping the United States of America.

“Barack Obama looks more like a movie star than a politician”

Here is an article by CNN, that has already analyzed the idea of Obama as a pop culture figure:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/18/obama.cool/

Not only did his reach take effect in North America, in other countries around the world that praised him. Even products that certain companies made had the label of “Obama” on them. (I’ll attach a few pictures to give examples) He was basically seen as a charismatic leader and a sign of hope, much like other political influential leaders, such as Nelson Mandella in South Africa. It wasn’t just a simple election. Something originally intended to be just in the realm of the political world, extended its reach into the corporate world as well. Everyday, before he was eventually elected into power, citizens of the United States of America were always reminded of his change campaign and all of the positive hope he presented to society. Through multiple advertisements presented on T shirts, pins to his face on practically every magazine, advertising was effectively implemented and practically being treated like a pop icon may have tremendously helped him win the election. Yet once again, this is an example of the political world at play and its relation to advertising.

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