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Building the meaning of the Second World War on the British home front in commercial press advertising

Clampin, DJ Building the meaning of the Second World War on the British home front in commercial press advertising. Media History. ISSN 1368-8804 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Building on extant literature placing consumption as a dominant feature of British life by the interwar period, this article explores how commercial advertising drew on that position on the British home front of the Second World War to explain the part it played within the wider war effort. It reveals how advertising messages stressed free consumption as an indicator of democracy and as a symbol of British national identity. The advertisements analysed highlight how this, to date, overlooked channel of propaganda fell in line with the prevailing narrative of the war, supporting, reinforcing and perpetuating the common vision of that conflict. Whilst it is not suggested that these often fanciful representations were accepted unquestioningly at the time, it is argued that the widespread circulation of such an unequivocal version of events became the definitive, non-negotiable understanding of what Britain’s war was about and how ordinary people could play their part within it.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1903 Journalism And Professional Writing, 2001 Communication And Media Studies, 2103 Historical Studies
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Humanities and Social Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 09:07
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2017 09:07
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/13688804.2017.1353906
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6816

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