Promoting Europe : the role of advertising in supranational identity formation
Rosenberg, Daniel Alex.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This thesis explores how modern nations use advertising to craft messages about national identity and to manage their reputations in a global, consumer environment. More specifically, it examines how the European Union, an emergent, transnational state consisting of 27 member-states and more than 500 million linguistically and culturally diverse citizens, uses advertising and public relations not just to promote its policies and agenda, but also to communicate ideas about what it means, or should mean, to be European. To this end, the thesis first examines how traditional narratives about nationhood have shifted during the past few centuries, from narratives that were targeted primarily at an internal audience of citizens and relied heavily on invented traditions and notions of inclusion and exclusion, to ones that now primarily target an international audience of global investors and that abandon invented traditions and overt nationalistic rhetoric. Following that, this thesis relates the shift in narrative to the European Union and, furthermore, examines some of the conflicts and divisions existing in Europe today that may hinder any moves towards future integration on the continent. The last half of the thesis then discusses a particular method of visual interpretation that can be commonly applied to advertisements and uses this method to analyze a set of ten poster ads commissioned by the European Union during the 2009 European Parliamentary Elections.
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