J201: Section 304
October 21, 2013
Research Report on Douglas Rushkoff
In a society where media is almost entirely funded by advertising, industries are fighting for the ears and eyes of audiences, and even more for their dollars. Although today’s generation of media consumers is essentially aware of advertisers’ intentions to manipulate their purchases, advertisers still manage to stay one step ahead. In Coercion, Douglas Rushkoff analyzes this capitalistic environment built on the persuasion of audiences. He deconstructs a world where advertisers prey on the psychology of humans in order to gather what will make people buy their product. This book helps readers understand just how vulnerable they are to the power of marketing corporations. Rushkoff, an award-winning and well-respected expert on media with experience in many different fields, is a reliable source of information for today’s media society.
Douglas Rushkoff has an extremely comprehensive background in the field of media studies. After graduating from Princeton University, he went on to gain MFAs from the California Institute of the Arts as well as the American Film Institute. He has a PhD in New Media and Digital Culture from Utrecht University. The Media Ecology Association awarded their first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity to Rushkoff, but this is just one award among many. Rushkoff is the author of fifteen books, and he has written and hosted three PBS Frontline documentaries concerning viewpoints on culture, marketing, consumer resistance, and the virtual world—all award-winning productions. He has taught for schools such as New York University and The New School University, and he’s contributed to publications such as the New York Times and Time Magazine. Rushkoff frequently consults significant institutions on ethics and media, and he has served on many media advisory boards, as well as boards of media companies and non-profit organizations. With regular appearances on television shows such as Larry King, the Colbert Report, Bill Maher, and NBC Nightly News, Douglas Rushkoff is a trusted voice in media society. Among his other responsibilities are media and technology commentator for CNN, digital literacy advocate for Codecademy, and worldwide lecturer and teacher of media, technology, culture, and economics.
In this world of influential media, Rushkoff believes that we each have certain authorities that we permit to manipulate our lives and direct our futures. We listen to what they tell us and rely on them to make decisions for us. We simply assume these authorities have our best interests in mind, but in Coercion, it’s revealed that not everyone does. These influences, specifically marketing and media executives, are always trying to find new and improved ways to manipulate our decisions. Rushkoff explains how just when we think we understand their motives, they move us into different and untried territory. The world of advertising is always one stride ahead of consumers’ struggles to comprehend them. Coercion, winner of the Marshall McLuhan Award for best media book, allows readers to understand the process by which these powerful authorities manipulate audiences. Authors, editors, and even senators alike have applauded Rushkoff for this book. Author Walter Kirn claims it responsible for the expose of the “secret war being waged for the…dollars of Americans”. (Rushkoff, Coercion) Douglas Rushkoff is a reliable and significant source for today’s media consumers hoping to stay out of the hands of powerful, manipulative marketers.
Douglas Rushkoff, “Advertising,” in Coercion: Why we listen to what “they” say (1999), 162-192; 30 pages.
Rushkoff, D. (n.d.). All books. Retrieved from http://www.rushkoff.com/all-books/
Rushkoff, D. (n.d.). About. Retrieved from http://www.rushkoff.com/about/
Rushkoff, D. (n.d.). Coercion. Retrieved from http://www.rushkoff.com/coercion/ (What I am using when I cite (Rushkoff, Coercin) in the final paragraph.)