Summary of Introduction to the New Edition
In Stuart Ewen’s All Consuming Images, the preface “Introduction to the New Edition” opens by giving the audience varying progressing images, from break dance to Madonna to Windows 95. This demonstrates a fast change in society: what matters in the history may not be an important issue now. Ewen then questions how a book written earlier still remains important and deserves republication. The book is durable because of the fact that it was written when the idea “images are everywhere” begins to develop. From political stand point, all the images, or specifically propaganda, that people see are to manipulate people’s emotions. In economic sphere, due to the ubiquitous advertising, marketing strategies, people started to question whether the images they see is reality, thus disclose the power of image and its effect on the culture of people. To discuss the issue, the author uses pieces of students’ essay as example to further explain the history and images of culture.
Ewen starts to explain the different impact of style on individuals. He begins with the idea that somehow style has always been related to one’s wealth and social status, as seen in Tammy B. and Vicky B.’s experiences, two opposite positions regarding the issue. Tammy B’s experience exemplifies her confidence to be the “style leader”, satisfying to be the standard of the group. Vicky B. can be seen as the pressured follower of style set by rich kids as she learned to “walk the walk, and talk the talk,” and eventually misjudged by others as one of those wealthy teens when she went to college. Some sacrificed themselves to put up appearance, as seen in Fannie C’s childhood experience. She lies and steals, to the extent of failing all her classes, just to be “in style” with her prosperous classmates. Some cared less about being in style, regardless of isolation from peer pressure. Lourdes S. expresses her own identity by not following others. Although not...
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