In Virginia Funes article, "Advertising and Consumerism: A Space for Pedagogical Practice," the theory that advertisements essentially controls the way people behave, look, and act is discussed.
Although the author of the paper discusses a variety of issues of different cultures and advertisements, I will reflect upon the idea of advertisement and consumerism acting as a form of control over society. According to Funes, "The advertising image preserves an implicit and legitimate social model that openly presents standardized representations of reality. Advertising messages not only describe the products they aim to sell, but they also put forth other issues. Through advertising, lifestyles are discouraged or promoted, and ideologies are praised or condemned. People are convinced of the social utility of certain behavior and habits, while dreams, feelings of euphoria, and perfection are sold." There are many ways that advertising controls people from all different cultures. Ideals are not only sold on cultures as a whole; however, details and aspect of cultures are represented and essentially forced upon us through a variety of advertisements.
Things like the food we eat, clothes we wear, places we go, and how we look are only a few of the ways that advertisements influence our every day lives. We are continually looking at images and representations of what we should be eating, how are diet should be, the way our bodies should look, what clothing we should wear and even where we should take our vacations. These elements vary from culture to culture; however, there is a mainstream culture that is undeniable in advertisements. This life that is represented through media is essentially the social idea and people are pressured to act the way demonstrated through all of these advertisements. Because of this ideal that we are all trying to meet, society is controlled is all aspects of their lives and the ideal becomes the norm. People that meet the ideal, or at least come close to meeting the expectations, fit into mainstream culture; however, everyone else is on the outside of this culture and fit into other cultures surrounded by people who have similar experiences and views.
This article I found online discusses some of the many ways that advertisements control the decisions individuals make every day. You can find the link to the article on the left side of this page.
Virginia Funes. “Advertising and Consumerism: A Space for Pedagogical Practice,” Mirror Images. Pp. 159-177.