Four Faces of Culture Analysis

Categories: CulturePsychology

Introduction

At first glance, Berger and Barber seem to be worlds apart, their arguments are that different. If you look closer, however, there share a common theme: globalization. What Globalization is, what helps it, what hurts it. Berger takes a more cultural approach, basically saying that culture is everywhere, even in language. He also mentions “Davos culture”, it being the “international culture of business and political leaders” (Berger, 2002). He goes on further, talking about individualization. Individualization is the process of making the individual more important than a whole community or culture.

Barber, however, takes a different approach, saying that globalization would eventually vanquish reutilization (Barber, 1992). He also believes that McWorld is very alluring in a world full of Jihad, giving the allusion to peace, unity and prosperity , but an individual has to sacrifice their independence, community, and identity (was are all based on being different) (Barber, 1992). Through ads, I will examine these two contrasting opinions and see if they are still relevant to date.

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Data Collection

Magazine #1, Title: Popular Mechanics

Type/Kind of magazine (what do we need to know about it?): Scientific, mechanical

Target Audience: Men and Women

Date of Issue: October 2018

Product/Service in the ad Which Face(s) of Culture – Davos, McWorld, FCI, Evangelical P. Message & Direct Quotes that helped you decide about the Face(s) Clues about Faces: Keywords, Symbols Location of the ad (page #, section, articles around it)

  1. Wrangler denim jeans McWorld Denim that is made to move, Comfort Flex Waistband Man crouching down smiling.

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    Woman smiling and rinsing the car, man washing the car Page 7, talking about work music, that feeds into the McWorld ideology

  2. Non-alcoholic whiskey beverage McWorld “Non-alcoholic whiskey, zero hangover guaranteed” “Don’t drink and drive unless it’s Arkay”, has a barcode that you can scan near the bottom of the ad Page 23 is near an article about the horror show that takes place in Orlando Florida every October
  3. Hagerty insurance Davos “No GPS, no problem”, Hagerty, for people who love cars Shows a car, squiggly arrow on a sign, Local agent Page 47, Yamaha advertisement for the new double front wheel motorcycle
  4. Geico insurance Davos “You can’t choose the speed limit, but you can choose Geico” Speed limit sign, Chicken crossing sign, Geico at the bottom, the number is 1-800-947-auto Page 56, next to a segment on the magazine’s guidebook to big tech innovations in the United States
  5. Dewar’s whiskey McWorld “Double aged for extra smoothness, live true” Shows the whiskey bottle, says “we age, we blend, we age again” Page 3 is next to an ad for the newest Subaru car model for families
  6. Linzess McWorld “Yess! Linsess”, shows happiness in consumption Get rolling, Linsess Page 31, near a quiz about a Youtuber that plays on Twitch. More of a consumer feel to it
  7. Barbasol McWorld Limited edition Jurassic world collector cans Build your own Jurassic world Page 97, the last page of the magazine. The article it is next to is about if you can build a box that can trap light inside of it
  8. Markten elite vapor McWorld Large pod, lasting battery, full vapor 5 different flavors show it elegant and like something to be desired, everyone is doing it Page 37, the article next to it is about a man talking about his patent for a swimming pool
  9. Taltz Davos “Embrace the chance of 100% clear skin with Taltz” Shows a wife hugging her husband, happy that he has clear skin and he’s smiling too No surrounding ads is at the very back of the magazine
  10. Simplisafe Davos Smaller, faster, stronger Shows the product on the table, says it’s a seamless system Page 15, the article next to it is about global hackers and how to be protected

Magazine #2, Title: Woman’s Day

Type/Kind of magazine (what do we need to know about it?): Cooking and Crafts magazine

Target Audience: Women

Date of Issue: October 2018

Product/Service in the ad Which Face(s) of Culture – Davos, McWorld, FCI, Evangelical P. Message & Direct Quotes that helped you decide about the Face(s) Clues about Faces: Keywords, Symbols Location of the ad (page #, section, articles around it)

  1. Curel McWorld Apply daily and experience the end of dry skin Made me feel human again Page 9, it’s a letter from the magazine editor
  2. Farm house cookies McWorld “A cookie straight from 1937” Has cookies in from of cookie package, with a jug of milk Page 2, Next to instructions on how to make chocolate critters
  3. Ensure max protein shake Davos “Strength and energy to reach your goals” Shows a woman running next to the quote. You’ll benefit from using this product Page 31, next to a page about crafts to make your bookshelf spooky for Halloween
  4. Purina cat chow McWorld “Purina, your pet, our passion.” Your cat will be happier and healthier if you use this product Shows a cat being petted, its eyes closed, seems to be happy Page 47, near the editor’s choice of cleaning products for the house hold
  5. Botox injection McWorld “Stand up to migraines”,Botox injections aren’t just used for cosmetic purposes anymore Shows a woman standing, a painting of a bed behind her. She goes along with her day, not staying in bed due to a migraine Page 50, near an article about household items that work the best in the home
  6. Garnier Nutrisse Color crème McWorld No grey left behind, you shouldn’t show your age, aging isn’t beautiful A woman who has dyed hair is smiling, happy with her choice of dying her hair Page 63, next to other beauty products, like anti-aging creams and a face mask
  7. Lays chips McWorld The perfect smoky, smooth BBQ flavor Shows people eating the chips from a plate, and a chip falling out of a BBQ bottle Page 80, near the cookbook segment and recipes to make pumpkin cupcakes
  8. Floradix iron and herbs Davos Tired of being tired, take this product to help iron deficiency. This product will help you do everything that you have to do in your daily life Shows a woman on the couch, whose tired as she is always on the go and juggling everything Page 101, next to a segment about dinners, with recipes for easy but nutritious dinners
  9. AARP medical care plans Faculty.

Club International “Don’t navigate the Medicare maze alone”, there’s Medicare help Shows a woman with an iPad, dressed in business casual near a sign that says “Medicare welcome” Page 117, next to the health segment. The two somehow go hand in hand, healthcare and fitness

10.Pain bloc arthritis pain reliever McWorld Max dose capsaicin without a prescription, odor free Shows the bottle, with a cut-out coupon at the bottom of the ad. There’s also a blurb saying that the product is sponsored by the Arthritis foundation Page 125, next to a page on how to live longer and stronger

Data Analysis

Out of the 20 ads that I’ve collected, I noticed that several of them dealt with McWorld, which is the face that deals with consumption and Americanization. It went from whiskey and vaping to beauty products and jeans. This vast array of ads is due to how global the idea of McWorld is. There were a few ads from the face of Davos, like iron supplements, an Ensure protein shake, to Geico auto insurance and a small but portable security system. With Davos, its more about what to do to be your best, have the best technology and caters to the elite. There was only one ad that I saw that was Faculty Club International. It was for AARP medical services. This surprised me, as in America we do have a higher population of people over 65.

The data sets are different, as the ads from the second magazine are mostly consumer and McWorld. The second’s magazines target audience was women, so a lot of the ads were about beauty, healthcare and fitness. The first magazine was more scientific and had more variety due to the faces that the ads represented. There was still mostly McWorld, but Davos was also in the mix. Due to this fact, we still can’t fully consider the data to be coming from one source, rather we must remember that there is also a different face, being Davos in this instance. There’s only one ad that is another face entirely, Faculty Club International in the second set that really sets it apart from the first.

With McWorld, they show the product in a flattering way, for example the vaping ad. In the vaping ad they show the vaper itself, with a cool background and coloring. It’s showcased as elegant and sophisticated in this light with the flavors and tagline at the bottom of the ad, while there is a Surgeon General warning about the side effects of the product on the top (cite here). In other ads, like the Purina Cat Chow ad, and the Wrangler jeans ad, they show happiness with the product in the ad. The Purina ad, the cat is shown smiling and being petted, and in the Wranglers ad, it shows both the man and the woman in the ad smiling, showing they are happy with the jeans. This way, it sways the readers to buy their product, showcasing people (and animal) that are content with the product they are selling. Overall, it shows that they are happy with the jeans- so if you want to be happy, buy and wear the jeans. Davos shows a different strategy, just showing their product with occasional people in the background. This way, the focus is strictly on the ad, and nothing distracts from the product. Unlike McWorld that shows people enjoying the product and/or using it. There isn’t any common underlying values in the ads that I can see or decipher, the ads are mostly superficial.

I see distinction in all the ads, either McWorld or Davos in the ad, only one Faculty Club International. I do think that it is possible that there can be transference across faces. On second viewing I saw some traits from the Davos face in McWorld, and some traits of the McWorld face in the Davos face. Only two faces show overlap, the Davos and McWorld, not in the Faculty Club International at all.

The only difference that I really saw between the magazines were the target audiences. The first magazine is for a co-ed audience and the second one is more tailored towards women. In the magazine where the target was women, there were a lot more McWorld ads, focused on what you should buy to be pretty or to be integrated into society. In one part of the second magazine, there was a segment on beauty with ads to make a woman seem to be desirable, like the Gardiner color crème. The ad itself shows an older woman, about forty, who is happy without grey hair. This seems to be showing that grey hair is undesirable or not beautiful in our society (cite here). I would say more of the same in both magazines showing that you need to have the next best thing to become relevant in society or become cool; there seems to be more Davos ads in the first magazine than the second. So, in order to be the best version of yourself, you should purchase these items in the ads.

I would say yes, as those in other cultures may want the product that is being sold to become more “Western” or “American”. This would make then cool or possibly open their minds up to American culture. It could also have the opposite effect, where they get a schema or idea of what America or the American dream is supposed to be. What I found interesting was the definition of McWorld in the readings, and the influence of Western culture and America as a whole. In the article about fashion in India, the study noticed that the main catalyst of the fashion change was Western clothing. They didn’t wear their saris as much, instead their attention turned to wearing brand names. Another example of this is the debate or race between Bollywood, Hollywood and Hong Kong cinema. In this article, they examined the evolution from movies about Bruce Lee fighting villains with a lackluster plot but great choreography to sophisticated and thought-provoking cinema about the real-life issues that are affecting Hong Kong citizens in the present day. In this article, the effect is different, where as it isn’t just the West affecting Hong Kong but Hong Kong is also influencing Hollywood movies. They feed into each other, and America isn’t just seen as an influencer, but also an influencee.

Conclusion

The interesting about ads are their sole purpose, of persuading the consumer to buy a product. Ads in America tend to be what you can be if you buy a product, what your reputation to be. To be cool you have to wear Nike shoes, to attract someone you need to wear a certain style or dress, have a specific hair color. People are swayed by ads and the ad companies want to sway the people to buy their product, to become better and more modern, this is McWorld’s concept. I also think that Berger’s point of view is relevant today, as a lot of the ads in current magazine are parallel with the concept of Americanization and Westernization, although I think that Barber’s McWorld argument is better developed and supported.

Works Cited

  • Barber, B.R. (1992, March). Jihad vs. McWorld. The Atlantic.com. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1992/03/jihad-vs-mcworld/303882
  • Berger, P.L. (2002). The Cultural Dynamics of Globalization. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Khaire, M., Hall. E.V. (2016). Medium and Message: Globalization and innovation in the production field of Indian fashion. Organization Studies, Vol.37 (6), 845-865.
  • Kolluri, H., Lee. J.T.H. (2016). Hong Kong and Bollywood in the Global Soft Power Contest. Indian Journal of Asian Affairs, Vol 29 (1/2), 101-112.

Cite this page

Four Faces of Culture Analysis. (2021, Oct 15). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/four-faces-of-culture-analysis-essay

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