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Title: Cultural diversity communication strategies in UK and US advertising agencies : a Bourdieusian analysis
Author: Adams, Nessa Cecelia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 2473
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2017
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The rise of black and minority ethnic (BME) populations in the UK and US in recent years has led to the introduction of cultural diversity communication strategies within the advertising industry. These strategies draw on beliefs, and cultural and religious values to specifically target BME audiences. This thesis examines the processes involved in creating these strategies, by analysing the discourse and working practices of advertising practitioners. By drawing on interviews and ethnographic observations in eight advertising agencies in the UK and US, it compares the differences in producing cultural diversity communication strategies between a) the general market agencies targeting mass audiences, and b) the emerging cultural diversity agencies only targeting BME audiences. I argue that the creation of these strategies is subject to powerful constraints and institutional racism, limiting market opportunities for advertising. The thesis starts by bringing together Bourdieu's theories of habitus and field theory (1977; 1984; 1993) with contemporary studies of the relationship between 'race' and media practices. This union sets the foundation for my adaption of field theory to analyse contemporary advertising practices and to examine how discourse, working practices and 'professional advertising organisations' reinforce racist ideologies and audience exclusion. In the second part of the thesis, this theoretical framework is applied to the fieldwork. Firstly, my analysis evidences the manifestation of racism across the field and how racial stereotypes are developed. Secondly, these attitudes shape the exclusionary practices that affect how CD communication strategies are executed, particularly in the UK. Lastly, I examine two 'diversity' events run by 'professional advertising organisations', analysing how they set 'good practice' standards and the power they have in shaping working practices across the industry. Ultimately, this thesis goes beyond existing studies on racial representations, and investigates the relationship between racism and intentionality amongst the industry's powerful constraints.
Supervisor: Degen, M. ; Malik, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Racism ; Field theory ; Habitus ; Stereotypes ; Critical discourse analysis