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Essay 1: Consumer Culture


1) Minimum 750 words.

2) Submitted before class on April 15, 2009.


Perform a close semiotic reading of one of the following.

1) A commercial (easier)

2) A retail store space (more difficult)

3) A retail website (most difficult)


1) Use MLA Format and a clear Works Cited page with the correct citation format.2) Include the following elements in your essay:

  • A brief historical overview of the brand and surrounding market in which your commercial, store, or website is operating. Note specifically the ways that Goewey and Davis provide these historical analyses.
  • Offer a theoretical framework for your analysis. The easiest two ways to go about this would be to analyze your commercial, store, or website from a postmodern perspective (using Jameson) or from a mythic perspective (using Barthes, or one of the readings from SOL).
  • A close reading of your object of study: in other words, how do the signs of the store or commercial evoke certain ideas or concepts? Present not only specific examples, but your interpretation of those examples. This is the key section of your paper―the evidence for your claims.
  • Cite at least two academic sources including one we did not cover in class.
  • Provide a copy of the commercial you are analyzing (VHS, DVD, web link), photos of the store you analyzed, or a link to the website you analyzed.

3) Be sure to turn in the following items the day you submit your essay:Nothing. No Time!4) Turn in a digital version in .rtf or .doc format through safe assignment before class.

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