Consuming Passions

By Judith Williamson,

Book cover of Consuming Passions: The Dynamics of Popular Culture

Book description

Writing with wit and charm and intelligence Judith Williamson explores the forces that channel our tastes and structure our lives: films, books, television, advertisements, photography, music, political movements, and even the royal family.

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Why read it?

1 author picked Consuming Passions as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Williamson was one of the first people (after me) to critique advertising from a feminist point of view. I could have chosen her earlier book, Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising, which also had a big influence on me, but this one is less academic and more readable.

Her discussion of how advertising channels people’s desire for progressive change into a need for products was one of the themes of my doctoral dissertation (written before this book). There are many gems, such as the fact that the ideal body type for women in ads has sometimes been that…

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