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Dimensions of Racism in Advertising

From Slavery to the Twenty-First Century

Edited By Edward Lama Wonkeryor

Advertising has had a racial dimension from slavery to the present. Contributors to this book explore the role of institutionalized racism and bigotry in multicultural marketing since its inception in the 1920s. Promoting ethnic diversity in the advertising industry is not just an important regulatory issue but essential for representation of ethnic images in marketing.
Dimensions of Racism in Advertising will be useful for both research and teaching purposes. It can be used as a textbook in upper-level courses in African American studies, ethnic studies, advertising, mass media, public policy, sociology, and history. For policy makers, it will provide an alternative explanation for the stereotypical portrayal of Africans and African Americans in the United States and elsewhere. It will be similarly useful for nongovernmental organizations in fighting institutional racism and the marginalization of ethnic and racial groups in advertising and marketing.
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Chapter 3 Modern Newspapers and the Formation of White Racial Group Consciousness


Natalie P. Byfield

The centrality of mass media to modern, western-type democracies has been undisputed for over 200 years. Until the latter part of the twentieth century, newspapers were the main type of information media. Social theorists often discuss the context of the expansion of individual rights and the sovereignty of the people over the ruling groups, ideas that define the era of the European Enlightenment. As such, newspapers were a part of American colonial society. However, the early colonial press in America was an advance over the press in Europe at the time. In England, newspaper publishers were required to buy a license for the right to publish. That was one of many restrictive policies whose aim was to “control the flow of information on government affairs” (Pasley 2000: 53). Fearful that such policies would lead to newspapers that were mouthpieces for the government, the colonial administration in America refused to adopt these types of measures (54). Many of the values being institutionalized in the press in colonial America were newfound principles based on freedom from domination. These principles were an extension of ideas from the Enlightenment, whose philosophers also grappled with the issues of the Atlantic slave trade and slavery in the New World (Davis 1975). These values thus conflicted with the most significant features of the economic system in colonial America.

This clash of values was evident on the pages of colonial and post-colonial newspapers in the U.S. During the nascent years of...

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