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ERIC Number: EJ872805
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
"The Story of Stuff": Reading Advertisements through Critical Eyes
Cuff, Shannon; Statz, Heather
English Journal, v99 n3 p27-32 Jan 2010
On November 28, 2008, Jdimytai Damour, age 34, was killed by a stampeding mob of customers running to get the day-after-Thanksgiving bargains. Even after customers in the store were informed that four people were injured and one man died, most chose to keep shopping. Looking at the root causes of this unfortunate death, it seems clear that consumerism played a large role. In people's quest for "stuff," they sometimes lose focus on other things: people, relationships, happiness, joy, and many more intangibles. The authors believe this tragic event gives teachers an excellent opportunity to start a significant discussion with their students about consumerism and the importance of developing a critical view of advertising. Why did people start lining up the day before, on Thanksgiving Day, to purchase discount goods? Why was such excitement and competition generated that resulted in injuries and the death of a fellow shopper? Why do people believe they need so many things? Who tells them they need them? In this article, the authors use documentary films and print ads to help students view advertisements more critically. Students' responses to the works are included.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Junior High Schools; Kindergarten; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A