By Eva Illouz
To what volume are our so much romantic moments decided by way of the portrayal of affection in movie and on television? Is a stroll on a moonlit seashore a second of ideal romance or just a simulation of the generic excellent visible many times on billboards and film monitors? In her distinctive research of yankee love within the 20th century, Eva Illouz unravels the mass of pictures that outline our principles of affection and romance, revealing that the event of "true" love is deeply embedded within the adventure of buyer capitalism. Illouz experiences how person conceptions of affection overlap with the realm of clichés and pictures she calls the "Romantic Utopia." This utopia lives within the collective mind's eye of the country and is outfitted on photos that unite amorous and fiscal actions within the rituals of courting, lovemaking, and marriage.
Since the early 1900s, advertisers have tied the acquisition of good looks items, activities vehicles, vitamin beverages, and snack meals to luck in love and happiness. Illouz unearths that, finally, each cliché of romance—from an intimate dinner to a dozen crimson roses—is developed through advertisements and media photos that hold forth a democratic ethos of intake: fabric items and happiness can be found to all.
Engaging and witty, Illouz's research starts off with readings of advertisements, songs, movies, and different public representations of romance and concludes with person interviews that allows you to learn the ways that mass messages are internalized. Combining vast ancient study, interviews, and postmodern social concept, Illouz brings a powerful scholarship to her interesting portrait of affection in America.
"Illouz creates a map of the problematic courting among love and economics in American society. In an analytical variety equivalent to that of Daniel Bell in its scope and highbrow ambition, she argues that romantic love captures our minds and hearts by means of promising transgression via intake of rest and nature."—Michelle Lamont, writer of cash, Morals, and Manners
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Additional resources for Consuming the Romantic Utopia: Love and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism
30 This view of movies as the scene for torrid passions is supported by a survey taken in 1935, when the film industry was at its peak, showing that love was the most important theme represented in movies, and further confirmed by a later study of Hollywood movies of the 1930s, which found that ninety-five out of a representative sample of a hundred movies had romance as one of their plot lines. 31 The old themes, drawn from such traditions as chivalric and bourgeois romance and American melodrama, intertwined love with marriage and offered the ideal of conjugal bliss as true happiness and the "happy ending" as married life.
18 Introduction A multitude of studies of the way the mass media are "received" by their audiences have tried, if obliquely, to find correspondences (or deviations) between the meanings of media texts and the meanings used by people in the context of their daily life. Although the concerns of this book are far from those of reception theory, it subscribes to the broad view that there is a hiatus between media texts and individuals' interpretation of these texts and that this hiatus needs to be bridged by an analysis of the role of culture in the class system of contemporary American society.
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