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Renée Dickason

Abstract

It is clear that the principal objective of television advertising is to encourage viewers to become consumers, but in the case of British practice, from the start of commercial television in the mid-1950s, the appeal to social and communal norms has been an essential feature of the techniques used by advertisers. The persistence of a general tendency towards the reinforcement of “normal” or “collective” values can be observed, most obviously in government advertising which seeks to further the contribution of the citizen to the positive evolution of society, but also in commercial publicity where certain mental attitudes and consumer behaviours are encouraged. At the same time, advertising reflects, admittedly with varying degrees of accuracy and distortion, not only the values, but also the nature of the society to which it is directed, representing therefore a living archive of the way in which society sees itself, or is imagined to perceive itself. This chapter will attempt to examine the often inaccurate picture of society given in commercial advertisements, through to the present day, but also to suggest that government advertising, for all its appeals to recognisable local and individual interest groups or communities, aims essentially to establish and to further generally acceptable and politically correct social norms.

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Etienne de Villiers

This essay provides a sketch of the public role churches play in present democratic South Africa. The strong effect the transition to a democratic dispensation has had on the public role of churches and the dominant transformation approach on which the public role of many of them was based in the apartheid era is discussed first. An attempt is then made to determine the opportunity churches have to play a public role in the present South Africa. The opportunity still there to play a constructive public role is, however, not optimally utilised by all churches. Some of the reasons for this are discussed. In conclusion, a number of challenges the South African churches face regarding their public role in present South Africa are indicated.

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Jeffrey E. Cole

Abstract

This article examines Mazara del Vallo as a border city. As port to the Mediterranean’s largest fishing fleet, the city figures in an ongoing dispute with neighbouring Tunisia over fishing rights. Accelerating European integration has redefined Sicily’s southern shore as a European border. And Tunisian immigrants now make up five percent of the city’s population. In the 1970s, union anger, political mobilisations, and popular antipathy all worked to stamp Tunisians as undesirable and unwelcome. By the late 1990s, the lot of Tunisians in Mazara had improved with stable employment and family formation. While integrated economically, Tunisians remain socially and symbolically excluded. The actions and orientations of Sicilians, Tunisians, and their respective states perpetuate these multiple divisions. This study shows how the movement of people can involve states and their respective populations in the creation of complex divisions and interactions, in ways which can activate borders. The remarkable volume of migration in contemporary Sicily, southern Europe, and beyond makes the study of borders timely and challenging.

A. Ihlenfeldt

eine von F. K. Dallwey 1974 für die Stempel AG für den Bleisatz geschnittene Schreibschrift. Present. 1974...

Image into Identity

Constructing and Assigning Identity in a Culture of Modernity

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Edited by Michael Wintle

The pervading theme of this book is the construction and allocation of identity, especially through images and imagery. The essays analyse how the dominant social discourses and imageries construct identity or assign subject positions in relation to the categories of race, nation, region, gender and language. The volume is designed to inform the study of those categories in cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, literary studies, philosophy and history. Its coverage is geographically global, multidisciplinary, and theoretically eclectic, but also accessible. The authors include both established and rising scholars from historical, literary, media, gender and cultural studies. This innovative collection will appeal to all those who are interested in the mechanisms of constructing and evolving personal and group identities, in past and present.

Gateway to the Promised Land

Ethnic Cultures on New York’s Lower East Side

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Mario Maffi

For the first time told in its entirety, the social and cultural experience of New York's Lower East Side comes vividly to life in this book as that of a huge and complex laboratory ever swelled and fed by migrant flows and ever animated by a high-voltage tension of daily research and resistance - the fascinating history of the historical immigrant quarter that, in Manhattan, stretches between East 14th Street, East River, the access to the Brooklyn Bridge, and Lafayette Street. Irish and Germans at first, then Chinese and Italians and East European Jews, and finally Puerto Ricans gave birth, in its streets and sweatshops, cafés and tenements, to a lively multi-ethnic and cross-cultural community, which was at the basis of several modern artistic expressions, from literature to cinema, from painting to theatre. The book, based upon a rich wealth of historical materials (settlement reports, autobiographies, novels, newspaper articles) and on first-hand experience, explores the many different aspects of this long history from the late 19th century years to nowadays: the way in which immigrants reacted to the new environment and entered a fruitful dialectics with America, the way in which they reorganized their lives and expectations and struggled to defend a collective identity against all disintegrating factors, the way in which they created and disseminated cultural products, the way in which they functioned as a gigantic magnet attracting several outside artists and intellectuals. The book thus has a long introduction detailing the present situation and mainly depicting the realities within the Chinese and Puerto Rican communities and the fight against gentrification, six chapters on the Lower East Side's past history (its social and cultural geography, the relationship among the several different communities, the labor situation, the literary output, the development of an ethnic theatre, the neighborhood's influences upon turn-of-the-century American culture in the fields of sociology, photography, art, literature and cinema), and a conclusion summing up past and present and discussing the main aspects of a Lower East Side aesthetics.

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Edited by Petra Rüdiger and Konrad Gross

Perhaps more than in any other period in modern history, our globalized present is characterized by a constant interaction of, and exposure to, different peoples, regions, ways of life, traditions, languages, and cultures. Cross-boundary communication today comes in various shapes: as mutual exchange, open dialogue, enforced process, misunderstanding, or even violent conflict. In this situation, ‘translation’ has become an inevitable requirement in order to ease the flow of disinterested and unbiased cultural communication. The contributors to this collection approach the subject of the ‘translation of cultures’ from various angles. Translation refers, of course, to the rendering of texts from one language into another and the shift between languages under precolonial (retelling/transcreation), colonial (domestication), and postcolonial (multilingual trafficking) conditions. It is also concerned with the (in-)adequacy of the Western translation concept of equivalence, the problem of the (un)translatability of cultures, and new postcolonial approaches (representation through translation). Translation here is used as a broader term covering the interaction of cultures, the transfer of cultural experience, the concern with cultural borders, the articulation of liminal experience, and intercultural understanding.

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Jerald D. Gort

This essay is concerned with the question of the sources of oppressive economic poverty. It begins with a description and analysis of the present situation of poverty, which is growing rather than decreasing throughout the world today, and distinguishes between the ultimate and proximate causes of this condition. The essay then looks at the Christian responses to poverty in past and present, pointing to the early influence of Greek dualism on the church’s attitude toward physical poverty and its attempts to defuse texts that challenged social, political and economic arrangements. Finally, the essay discusses the makeup of an appropriate Christian response to it, pointing to the necessary ingredients of analysis, introspection and conversion. It also points to the necessity of rereading God’s Word and rediscovering there God’s preferential option for the poor, and that Christians are called to emulate this. Here Christians are to engage in dialogical cooperation with other religions to combat poverty in a wider ecumenism.

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Hanadi Loubani and Joseph Rosen

Abstract

Memory’s Exiles

In their dialogue “Memory’s Exiles,” Joseph Rosen and Hanadi Loubani investigate the personal and political stakes of remembering violence and catastrophe in the context of Palestinian and Jewish Diasporas. The point of their dialogue is to contest the “normalizing processes of forgetting,” which they conceive of as a nostalgic memory. In opposition to this culturally and nationalistically narrated nostalgia, they try to present an instance of an enabling “forgetting” as a diasporic mode of memory that opens to the memory of the other’s memory of violence.