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The novel Brave New World depicts the intended societal stability that prevails in a utopian society as a result of the world rulers' efforts. In this book, the world controllers secure stability by establishing a five-tier caste system that allows for mass manufacturing of human beings from the embryo stage to mature adults. Depending on the conditioning, the five groups exhibit a variety of features. The alpha and beta of the system represent extremely skilled individuals who direct the trajectory of existence in human cultures. It comprises professions such as legislators, scientists, and other top minds, whereas the other three reflect the world's industrial working society. A drug called soma is injected in all to ensure that no one ever remains unhappy or feels pain in the course of the life. These goals are attained through the utilization of the modern technology. The process of producing more babies continues, and they are put in various castes. Upon the decantation of the babies from the bottles, they are conditioned through hypnopaedia and Neo-Pavlovian conditioning. In the Neo-Pavlovian conditioning, the babies are made to dislike books and flowers such that when they enter a room filled with roses and books, sirens and alarms sound and the babies receive an electric shock. Therefore, the babies get frightened, and next time they encounter flowers and books, they recoil in fear and keep off. The hypnopaedia conditions babies through playing various ethical issues to them while they sleep such that those ethics become part of the children’s subconscious.
The outcome of this scientific advancement creates problems, and instead of offering solution and liberty, the individuals are enslaved by this enlightenment. Take, for example the individuals produced through the five-tier caste system. None of them seem to fit in the society since they have been robbed of their individualistic traits. For instance, Helmholtz Watson is a highly intellectual alpha who is disillusioned about the society. Watson is tired of his work and desires something better that would be more satisfying since writing statements and slogans to inspire people is not fulfilling. Notably, Watson pities Bernard, another alpha who also cannot fit in the society. The utopian society reveals a culture with no emotions but also without happiness that was anticipated. The American society has embraced media and enhanced technology in the advertisement in the pursuit of stability and happiness. However, just like the individuals in Aldous Huxley’s The Brave World dystopian novel lost their individuality traits resulting in social decadence because of technological control, American society is in the decay and decline because of advanced advertisement technology.
Societal Issues related to Advertising
The advertisement has become a central mode of communication in the marketing of consumer products. Nonetheless, it is a subtle tool that has resulted in social decay since in its real sense, it promotes mass deception and control of individuals within the American society. The artists within the culture industry are key personnel that is used to stimulate the sale of goods. For instance, when a popular musician is seen consuming a given brand, implicitly the fans get attached to the brand subconsciously since what the musician endorses seems to be the best. The primary challenge is that the American idols, present a close to perfection state regarding looks, conversation, and lifestyle. As such, young people particularly women, strive to emulate their heroes in almost all ways. Thus, the personality traits are determined by the famous person involved in the advert as opposed to the young person following their distinct approach to life. The emulation is not the problem but the person being emulated is not real, and that means the young women may live disillusioned and exhibit low self-esteem since they have been unable to follow their stars. The challenge also leads to an ideal and implicit definition of the right kind of a person such that people go extra miles to attain that perfection. For instance, young Black women have sought plastic surgery to attempt to be the ideal modern lady. The outcome sometimes has been deformities or permanent negative health implications. Also, young people are also known to known to take extra dangerous miles just to appeal the masses and gain acceptance. Such lifestyle has affected people of different social classes and even gender.
The advertisement has changed the culture of American society in more ways than people are aware. For example, there is a close association between media advertisements and spending habits. When a product is presented to the mainstream media, the purpose is to generate demand to the consumers and make them feel obliged to purchase. The marketers are so cunning such that they will use a captivating language that is specific to a person resulting in a purchase. This craftiness happens by alluding that each person has the ability to acquire the product if they would like and they would be much happier with the good than without the product. Apparently, the message comes with a sense of urgency such that if one does not purchase it, it may never be available when they need it. As such, it is wise to buy while the stock last and as a measure of preparedness. The seeking happiness at any cost and stability is similar to that of world controllers in the dystopian novel. The outcome is unattained happiness and more products than a person requires. The urgency presents in adverts has also cultivated covetousness, greed, and impatience among the American society.
People want things at whatever cost and at the least time possible. Such decay has impacted social relationships since people lack patience and discretion in decision making. In fact, individuals who consistently purchase products impulsively without logic and reason result in excess products that they have to give out and eventually debts. Achtziger et al. (p.145) assert that there is a strong correlation between impulse buying and debts since finances are used to acquire products that one may not necessarily need resulting to inadequate money to meet needs. With financial obligations, comes associated stress and the need to use credit cards. To some individuals in the American society, this is a vicious cycle that does not seem to end. And when life becomes quite tricky, matters of crime and corruption will increase within such a community in pursuit of freedom from repetitive debts. Also, these impulsive buying transcends all classes and even teenagers in the American society resulting to vices like gambling as noted by Langham et al. (p.80). Teenagers, especially, when they find themselves in huge debts when in college seek easier ways of bailing out like gambling which may be costly in the end. When they become addicted to gambling, and maybe not get the desired outcome, stress levels are likely to escalate, thus affecting negatively the studies which may even result in cases of depression.
The reduced essence of self-control propagated by the media does not spare toddlers either but also promote negative tendencies. For instance, the media affects the eating habits of children significantly. Barve et al. (p2) argue that children who spend over fours in the TV are likely to be obese as opposed to children within the same bracket that do not watch the television. The reason for such conclusion is twofold. Children of that age who spend most of their time on the tv have no ample time to engage in physical activities thus promoting laziness and storage of fats thus obesity. Additionally, the adverts in the media related to food center around high-calories fast foods that generate the interests of children. As much as children are not the primary determinants of the kind of food they will eat, they affect the parents’ decision on the type of food they will eat. Take a scenario where a child enjoys French fries and eats to fill but refuses to eat mashed potatoes. The chances are the parent will give French fries more often to enhance the eating of the child. Such will form the eating habit of the child even to adolescence which is not ideal since the advertised foods are not healthy and could lead to lifestyle diseases.
Promotional adverts exercise control on the masses through manipulating the emotions of people by capitalizing on the feelings and denying people an opportunity to think. For instance, commercials will present a product from a given restaurant as the best also show the target individual as so important to eat in that restaurant. However, one may not have an opportunity to test the credibility of that statement since even a seemingly identified customer purported to enjoy a meal there. The commercials, in a sense, aim at tickling the ears of this consumers through promising to deliver happiness and value. In the ads, they address the ego and importance that a person may desire. For example, an advert starting with identifying the customer and king and the company’s existence is to meet the customers’ needs will appeal to the emotions of most clients and attract their loyalty. Nonetheless, logically speaking, most businesses exist to achieve their own financial goals and for profit-making and the customers are means to that end. Such falsehood when heard repeatedly is believed and becomes a part of the lifestyle of a person. Danciu (p.19) agrees that most modern marketing strategies are manipulative and seek to arouse the emotions and lead to the purchase of a product. In fact, it is possible to adopt a lifestyle around these behaviors. Like the children conditioned and controlled when sleeping through playing the ethics subconsciously in The Brave New World, the modern American society has become seared as with hot iron such that logical and critical thinking are absent. People instead of acting like human beings who are able to make rational choices that are apart from emotional reasoning, find themselves making decisions based on feelings instead of facts.
The reality of prevalence of emotional reasoning in the modern society is inescapable and is attributable to the media. Jager-Hyman et al. (p.370), suggest that continuous emotional rationale leads to cognitive distortions which affect decision making significantly and could also result in suicidal attempts. Notably, the young people are bombarded with so much information that is not aimed at arousing the emotions which is not sustainable in the long term. As such, these teenagers find themselves in the bondage of seeking emotional fulfillment and security. The sad state of the emotional reasoning and the cognitive distortions is being felt in the American universities. Students are finding it hard to think and process matters before making decisions. They are drawn away to events and activities that will provide pleasure even if in the long term the cost may be too high. It is also possible that the people’s mind is being conditioned by the media to seek immediate satisfaction though for a short time instead of delayed gratification that may yield long-term reward. Notably, the discrepancy between the proposed benefit and the actual benefit is so pronounced because no real value is offered. That sad state continues to grow in the society leading people to more and more social decadence.
The media has played a significant role in the corruption of morals related to human sexuality. The value of people has shifted from that of substance and content, inbuilt virtues to the perceived value of outward appearance of style and effects. A young man will be regarded as incredible since he has a great physique, outstanding and trendy dressing and an ideal young woman is presented as one is slim, has a sexy body and is light skinned (Rusello p.2). The unfortunate thing is that the adverts present women as tools of sexual gratification given that they are depicted in nudity or semi-nudity in the commercials. Surprisingly, there are times the advert has nothing to do with a woman’s body, but a woman will be involved in the advertisement posing in a sexually provocative manner. The ads surrounding a popular soap-opera have become the training ground of current relationship such that women and men lose their individuality as they seek to carry out their relationships like the ones presented in the mainstream media. The mind gets conditioned because of daily and regular exposure such that what is presented appears real. Barve et al. (p.2) argue out that adolescents and children are mostly affected by the misleading adverts since they are vulnerable and their minds have not developed well to discern between reality and a commercial. These children could hinge their lives on fantasy as opposed to the facts which has dire consequences on their lives.
The uncontrolled release of sexually-oriented commercials has affected romantic relationships and marriages significantly. Morris, Slonim, and Osburn (p.2) assert that sexual ads affect the singles since they offer the situation and expectation in marriage. The assumption and presentation of sex as the most satisfying thing is problematic since when people are married and experience something short of that they are disappointed and seek other means of satisfaction. Sex also has become me a motivating factor for getting into a romantic relationship instead of love and the outcome is unmet needs and desires and a society that cannot sustain marriages. Extra-marital affairs are ordinary and have been accepted as part and parcel of the American culture in pursuit of happiness which is never forthcoming. The divorce rates are high since the media presents human beings as products that can be changed as one desires. Additionally, the presentation of women by the media as tools for sexual satisfaction has continued to encourage gender inequalities and gender-based violence in intimate relationships as highlighted by Moses and Charles (p.25). Thus, the prevalence of violence will continue unless something is done to eliminate sexy women on the advertisement platforms.
Synthesis, Implication, and Proposal
Although the corruption of morals in the American society is prevalent, the good thing is, there is something that can be done. The government as the body that should protect the well-being of its citizens has a mandate of regulating what is advertised and particularly in the mainstream media. For example, Photoshop should not be used in the advertisement since it is deceptive and disillusions and the outcomes are dire especially on the young people. The penalty for non-adherence should be hefty to discourage other companies that would be planning to use media as a tool to take advantage of the consumers. Additionally, there should be a ban on advertisement of unhealthy fast food products that are likely to affect the children and adolescents (Kersh p.1083). For example, adverts related to unhealthy foods, alcohol, cigars and violent movies should be abolished in the mainstream media. However, other media like company websites are allowed. The federal should enforce the already existing laws aimed at the protection of the consumers. For example, the government should have their personnel in the market to verify the claims made regarding a particular commodity, to make sure what is presented is true and accurate. In so doing, manipulative marketing will be kept at bay.
Although there is much that the government can do, there is also much that people can do at individual levels. For example, parents should not allow their children to be conditioned by the media but should endeavor to train them on how to distinguish between commercials and real things. Additionally, parents and adults should exhibit a life of self-control and patience such that the children and adolescent could emulate them. For instance, if the parents take their stand and tell their children fast foods with high calories are unhealthy and not offer them, with time the children may agree with the parent and learn restraint. Mallan et al. (p. 716) assert that when parents especially the father takes part in the feeding of the child, this action affects the personality of the child and enhances god character. Parents should, therefore, spend ample time with their children as opposed to allowing the toddlers to spend more time on the television and also regulate the content viewed. The schools also should take their part in training their students to be creative and critical thinking as opposed to emotional reasoning. Such great thinkers will not be lured into purchasing because it looks attractive and appealing. In training children from homes and schools, reason and logic will be forefront in decision making and the outcome will be planned purchases and a happy life. A life free of unnecessary debts and stability will characterize such individuals.
The outcome of parental proper training and school in inculcating good morals especially related to critical thinking and patience will disentangle the American society from the control of the media advertisement platforms. The joy of it will be reclaimed autonomy and individuality in the American culture of freedom and morality.
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Danciu, Victor. "Manipulative marketing: persuasion and manipulation of the consumer through advertising." Theoretical and Applied Economics 21.2 (591) (2014): 19-34.
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Kersh, Rogan. "Of nannies and nudges: the current state of US obesity policymaking." Public health 129.8 (2015): 1083-1091.
Langham, Erika, et al. "Understanding gambling-related harm: a proposed definition, conceptual framework, and taxonomy of harms." BMC Public Health 16.1 (2016): 80.
Mallan, Kimberley M., et al. "The role of fathers in child feeding: Perceived responsibility and predictors of participation." Child: Care, health, and development 40.5 (2014): 715-722.
Morris, Wendy L., Gal Slonim, and Brittany K. Osburn. "How Does Sexual Orientation Affect Perceptions of Single People?." Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research 21.3 (2016).
Moses, Ani, and Makata Charles. "Sex as an Advertising Appeal: A Review of Its Ethical Basis, Functions and Effects." International Journal of Management Sciences 4.1 (2014): 25-34.
Russello, Salenna. "The impact of media exposure on self-esteem and body satisfaction in men and women." Journal of Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research 1.1 (2009): 4.
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