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Henry Giroux shows how Disney atempts to hide befind a cloak of innocence and entertainment, while simultaneously exercising its influence as a major force on both global economics and cultural learning.
This expanded and revised edition explores and updates the cultural politics of the Walt Disney Company and how its ever-expanding list of products, services, and media function as teaching machines that shape children's culture into a largely commercial endeavor. The Disney conglomerate remains an important case study for understanding both the widening influence of free-market fundamentalism in the new millennium and the ways in which messages of powerful corporations have been appropriated and increasingly resisted in global contexts. New in this edition is a discussion of Disney's shift in its marketing strategies towards targeting tweens and teens, as Disney promises to provide (via participation in consumer culture) the tools through which young people construct and support their identities, values, and knowledge of the world. The updated chapters from the highly acclaimed first edition are complimented with two new chapters, 'Globalizing the Disney Empire' and 'Disney, Militarization, and the National Security State After 9/11,' which extend the analysis of Disney's effects on young people to a consideration of the political and economic dimensions of Disney as a U.S.-based megacorporation, linking the importance of critical reception on an individual scale to a broader conception of democratic global community.
"This essay collection gathers recent scholarship on representations of diversity in Disney and Disney/Pixar films, exploring not only race and gender, but also newer areas of study. Covering a wide array of films this compendium highlights the social impact of the entertainment giant and reveals its cultural significance in shaping our global citizenry"--Provided by publisher.
From Mouse to Mermaid, an interdisciplinary collection of original essays, is the first comprehensive, critical treatment of Disney cinema. Addressing children's classics as well as the Disney affiliates' more recent attempts to capture adult audiences, the contributors respond to the Disney film legacy from feminist, marxist, poststructuralist, and cultural studies perspectives. The volume contemplates Disney's duality as an American icon and as an industry of cultural production, created in and through fifty years of filmmaking. The contributors treat a range of topics at issue in contemporary cultural studies: the performance of gender, race, and class; the engendered images of science, nature, technology, family, and business. The compilation of voices in From Mouse to Mermaid creates a persuasive cultural critique of Disney's ideology. The contributors are Bryan Attebery, Elizabeth Bell, Claudia Card, Chris Cuomo, Ramona Fernandez, Henry A. Giroux, Robert Haas, Lynda Haas, Susan Jeffords, N. Soyini Madison, Susan Miller, Patrick Murphy, David Payne, Greg Rode, Laura Sells, and Jack Zipes.
Linking Margaret Mead to the Mickey Mouse Club and behaviorism to Bambi, Nicholas Sammond traces a path back to the early-twentieth-century sources of “the normal American child.” He locates the origins of this hypothetical child in the interplay between developmental science and popular media. In the process, he shows that the relationship between the media and the child has long been much more symbiotic than arguments that the child is irrevocably shaped by the media it consumes would lead one to believe. Focusing on the products of the Walt Disney company, Sammond demonstrates that without a vision of a normal American child and the belief that movies and television either helped or hindered its development, Disney might never have found its market niche as the paragon of family entertainment. At the same time, without media producers such as Disney, representations of the ideal child would not have circulated as freely in American popular culture. In vivid detail, Sammond describes how the latest thinking about human development was translated into the practice of child-rearing and how magazines and parenting manuals characterized the child as the crucible of an ideal American culture. He chronicles how Walt Disney Productions’ greatest creation—the image of Walt Disney himself—was made to embody evolving ideas of what was best for the child and for society. Bringing popular child-rearing manuals, periodicals, advertisements, and mainstream sociological texts together with the films, tv programs, ancillary products, and public relations materials of Walt Disney Productions, Babes in Tomorrowland reveals a child that was as much the necessary precursor of popular media as the victim of its excesses.
Kids around the world love Disney animated films, and many of their parents trust the Disney corporation to provide wholesome, moral entertainment for their children. Yet frequent protests and even boycotts of Disney products and practices reveal a widespread unease with the sometimes mixed and inconsistent moral values espoused in Disney films as the company attempts to appeal to the largest possible audience. In this book, Annalee R. Ward uses a variety of analytical tools based in rhetorical criticism to examine the moral messages taught in five recent Disney animated films—The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, and Mulan. Taking the films on their own terms, she uncovers the many mixed messages they purvey: for example, females can be leaders—but male leadership ought to be the norm; stereotyping is wrong—but black means evil; historical truth is valued—but only tell what one can sell, etc. Adding these messages together, Ward raises important questions about the moral ambiguity of Disney's overall worldview and demonstrates the need for parents to be discerning in letting their children learn moral values and life lessons from Disney films.
Historically, public relations research has been dominated by organisational interests, treating the profession as a function to help organisations achieve their goals, and focusing on practice and processes first and foremost. Such research is valuable in addressing how public relations can be used more effectively by organisations and institutions, but has tended to neglect the consequences of the practice on the social world in which those organisations operate. This edited collection adds momentum to the emergent interest in the relationship between public relations, society and culture by bringing together a wide range of alternative theoretical and methodological approaches, including anthropology, storytelling, pragmatism and Latin American studies. The chapters draw on insights from a variety of disciplines including sociology, cultural studies, post-colonialism, political economy, ecological studies, feminism and critical race theory. Empirical contributions illustrate theoretical arguments with narratives and interview extracts from practitioners, resulting in an engaging text that will provide inspiration for scholars and students to explore public relations in new ways. Public Relations, Society and Culture makes an essential contribution to a range of scholarly fields and illustrates the relevance of public relations to matters beyond its organisational function. It will be highly useful to students and scholars of public relations as well as cultural studies, ethnicity/‘race’ communication, media studies, development communication, anthropology, and organisational communication. This insightful book will make a significant contribution to debates about the purpose and practice of public relations in the new century.

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