Coercion : why we listen to what "they" say

by Rushkoff, Douglas.

Format: Print Book 1999
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction P94.R87 1999
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  P94.R87 1999
They say that human beings use only ten percent of their brains. They say the corner office is a position of power. They say you haven't met your deductible.Who, exactly, are "they"? More important, why do we listen to them?In Coercion Douglas Rushkoff argues that we each have our own "theys"--bosses, experts, and authorities (both real and imaginary) who have taken over much of the decision-making power in our lives. Unfortunately, not everyone to whom we surrender this control has our best interests at heart. What's most troubling is that the more we try to resist their efforts at persuasion, the more effort they in turn put into finding increasingly sophisticated--and invisible--methods of coercion. Indeed, the last fifty years have been marked by a kind of arms race between these authorities and our selves.Douglas Rushkoff is in a unique position to guide us through these hazardous societal influences. Having for years been the champion of the new media, the Internet, and the liberating forces of interactive technology, he now examines the process through which such innovations are being co-opted by the powers that be. Rushkoff's message is a wake-up call for anyone who has the uncomfortable sense that our actions are being shaped by forces beyond our control.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "From media analyst Rushkoff comes this very enlightening and somewhat humbling look at the ways we are manipulated every day--not only by the media but also by our closest friends. According to Rushkoff's carefully documented thesis, we're bombarded pretty much constantly by appeals to our vanity, our desire to belong to a group, our need for approval. We're taken in by people who turn our own cynicism and distrust of manipulation into newer, much more subtle forms of persuasion. From the attractive sales clerk who compliments our choice of clothing to the bosses, parents, friends, and coworkers who make our decisions for us while making us believe we're thinking for ourselves, Rushkoff reveals all the tricks we use on one another--and reminds us that, no matter how clever we think we are, we're always, inevitably, being manipulated. An essential book for anyone interested in the power of media and the mechanics of deception. --David Pitt"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Until recently a cyber-optimist who, in popular books like Cyberia and Media Virus, augured a digital revolution, Rushkoff now warns that the promise of the Net as an open-ended civic forum is fading as relentless corporate marketers peddle their wares and capitalize on shortened attention spans. In a scathing critique that extends far beyond cyberspace in scope, Rushkoff identifies the subtle forms of coercion used by advertisers, public relations experts, politicians, religious leaders and customer service reps, among others. Retreading territory covered by critic Neil Postman and others, Rushkoff provides additional examples of how the ordinary person is often unsuspectingly manipulated, whether in the shopping mall, at a sports event or in a Muzak-drenched store or office. This analysis is particularly strong when deconstructing the "postmodern" techniques of persuasion that advertisers use to reach increasingly cynical target audiences, including commercials that self-consciously mock the marketing process. Rushkoff also argues that mass spectacles (e.g., rock festivals, Louis Farrakhan's Million Man March, Promise Keepers rallies) foster "tribal loyalty" but are often contrived, commercial or downright destructive. He devotes a chapter to pyramid schemes used by cults, infomercials, Internet con artists and get-rich-quick marketers. His freewheeling survey underscores the social cost of these coercive strategies, which, he says, tend to make us see one another as marks. Despite his up-to-the-minute examples, however, his overall analysis is not fresh or original enough to take the place of Vance Packard's The Hidden Persuaders. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Mass media -- Influence.
Persuasion (Psychology)
Publisher New York :Riverhead,1999
Language English
Description 321 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [309]-315).
ISBN 1573221155 (alk. paper)
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