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Home arrow Political science arrow Dimensions of Racism in Advertising: From Slavery to the Twenty-First Century

The Organization of This Book

This book is organized into six chapters addressing diverse themes in the advertising industry. Chapter 1 examines the history of race in advertising and also discusses the development of African American identity as it relates to media. It defines advertising and also explicates multicultural marketing and its impact on African Americans. It finally delineates the organization of this book.

Chapter 2 examines the history of the regulation of ethnic diversity in advertising agency employment practices. It also examines imagery as a reflection of hiring practices within the agency and the steps employed by African Americans and other ethnic minorities in promoting diversity in the agency. Chapter 3 deals with modern newspapers and the formation of white racial group consciousness. It provides insight into how the principles of the Enlightenment crossed the Atlantic and conflicted with the developing market economy and the expansion of rights it afforded white males, while reducing the rights of free blacks and reinforcing the property status of enslaved blacks. Modern newspapers, the Penny Press, were formed in this cauldron. Their commercial reliance on advertising defined them as modern. Thus, the audience they attracted to sell to advertisers did not represent a general audience.

Chapter 4 discusses racism, political advertising, and American presidential elections. It examines the racism-political advertisement nexus, especially its use as an instrument for priming and conditioning the voting behavior of whites. Further, it assesses the impact of the election of Barack Obama as the first African American President of the United States on the use of racist political advertisements in future presidential elections. Chapter 5 deals with diversity in advertising in the twenty-first century. The main thesis of this chapter is that the painful history of racism in advertising from enslavement to contemporary time has created an enduring legacy that American society finds it difficult to overcome. This chapter provides a conceptual analysis based on existing literature of how promoting ethnic diversity within the advertising industry is not just an important regulatory issue to address historical failures. It is essential for multicultural marketing in order to characterize and portray representational images of diverse ethnicities. Chapter 6 suggests some lessons about the state of advertising in contemporary America.

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