America Underclass Essay

1196 Words 5 Pages
It is believed that there is a tension between social classes in America. Typically, people of lower classes choose to imitate those of higher social status. As a result, advertisers have a tendency to take advantage of this tension in order to profit from people of the lower and middle classes. In “The American Upper Class,” G. William Domhoff says that “exhibiting high social status… is a way of exercising power” (Domhoff p.34),” which is something important to all social classes. According to Judi Puritz Cook, author of “Consumer Culture…Sales Discourse,” advertisements in print as well as in visual media seem to create “the promise of status mobility through consumption (Cook p.373).” In the article, Puritz explains how television …show more content…
It seems that the models are on top of the world, which is a feeling that advertisers believe appeals to everyone.
In February’s issue of Vogue, an ad for designer Alexander McQueen’s collection at Saks Fifth Avenue shows a well-dressed woman and her pampered dog seated at a classy restaurant. The waiter seems to be pouring expensive champagne for the dog. The caption for the ad reads, “Saks loves rare breeds.” Readers see this as ad and picture themselves looking like a “rare breed” by shopping at Saks or even wearing a designer like McQueen. Obviously, the one thing preventing readers from the lower and middle classes from exhibiting the same amount of elegance as the models in the advertisements is money. Advertisers use these techniques to convince the audience that with this specific product, you can look just as good as the wealthy. In this case, the intention is to make members of all social as well as economic classes desire to be envied by others.
Another example of an advertisement that supports Domhoff’s theory that the upper class creates envy in others is an ad for Brioni, a designer brand. The picture shows a woman dressed in a tailor made gown spinning in what seems like an image of paradise. The caption on the bottom of the page reads, “To be one of a kind.” The addressees of the ad are expected to believe that the

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