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The Convergence Crisis

An Impending Paradigm Shift in Advertising

Joanna L. Jenkins

The Convergence Crisis tells the story of an impending paradigm shift in advertising. Beginning in the early 1840s with the birth of the first advertising agency and momentum spurred by industrial systems, the book provides a historical overview of significant events and socio-cultural economic factors that have occurred to explain how and why a [convergence] crisis has erupted in contemporary American advertising. Significant blurring of once-distinct boundaries and redistribution caused by convergence has led to new methods of communication being used in advertising and among audiences. The book intends to bring awareness, clarity, and understanding to the opportunities presented through convergence via its rich historical narrative and theoretical framework.


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The following appendices present summarized details of the framework used to construct this book. They provide information that clarifies analyses and conclusions, and they serve as an easy reference for supportive materials to deepen understandings of the subject matter through theoretical and prag- matic application. 170 the convergence crisis Appendix A: Development of American Advertising 1840s–Present Jenkins offers this model and description to increase understanding surround- ing the development of advertising. • Early Beginnings (1840s–1920s). Within this phase of development, advertising knowledge was unable to produce a paradigm that could sus- tain universal enterprise. Thus, dissention, factions, and concentrations of power characterized this period. Although extraordinarily arduous, this era provided the foundation for future progress and productivity. • Growth & Expansion (1920s–1980s). Within this phase of development, a paradigm was defined that informed the theory and practice of adver- tising. Subsequently, productivity flourished and advertising was estab- lished as discipline. As confidence increased, the profession expanded exponentially. Both scholars and practitioners collaborated to create works that affirmed the paradigm. • Perils and Pitfalls (1980s–Present). Within this phase of development, advertising drifted toward decline. Repeated failure coupled with the inability to sustain productivity revealed the disintegration of the es- tablished paradigm. Perils and Pitfalls represents a critical juncture in which advertising can ascend toward revolutionary development through an impending paradigm shift. This period is also closely asso- ciated with triadic convergence, a complex phenomenon that elicits unforeseen modifications in worldviews, resulting in blurred practices and ideology. Please note: the organization for...

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