Monday, May 24, 2010

In-Class Blog for May 24

Hello All,

Through reading Stevens and Eliade, we have seen how archetypes function on both the social and individual level, and in writing our analyses, we have explored how popular culture uses these universal symbols to entertain and help us find meaning in the world.

Our last text --The Hero and the Outlaw-- takes a different approach, one that definitely permeates our lives, whether we like it or not. In this text, Mark and Pearson (2001) argue that advertising uses these same archteypes to help "people to experience meaning in ordinary life" and "ennoble life by highlighting its meaning" (p. 21). Of course, this isn't done out of any sense of altruism; rather, the profit motive is the guiding principle. We could perhaps more accurately replace "highlighting" with "manipulating" with regards to advertisers and their relationship to these archetypal truths.

Regardless of our feelings regarding capitalism and our commercial-driven culture, we can still objectively evaluate whether or not a given advertisement may be effective. On page 13, Mark and Pearson divide and classify archetypal figures into twelve categories, each of which becomes the basis of a chapter.

Your assignment is this:

1. Get into groups of two;
2. Choose a commercial (the ones you posted will work);
3. Critique its use of archetypes (both from Mark & Pearson and Stevens or Eliade if they apply);
4. Use at least one quote from Mark & Pearson.

This critique should be a decent-sized paragraph (six-ten sentences).