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The Origins of Advertising Discourse: Locke, Landscape, and America

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Here it is shown that the discourse of contemporary advertising derives from verbal and visual narratives encoded in Locke's representation of American landscape. These narratives embrace the idea of nature as an artifact, the imperial self, picture theory, and palimpsest representation. They are given careful attention in this study not because of their timely value but, precisely, because they are anachronistic and widely disseminated by the advertising media, a national nostalgia industry parasitical upon an intellectual inheritance originating with Locke. Incident to the popularity of Lockean ideas achieved by these means is that counter-narratives on the environment advanced by resource economics and conservation biology are rendered marginal and ineffective.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Parlin, CO, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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