JEWLScholar@MTSU Repository

From Cure-alls to Calcium Tablets: A Comparative Semiotic Analysis of Advertisements for 19th and 20th Century Patent Medicines and Contemporary Dietary Supplements

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Marcellus, Jane
dc.contributor.author Albrecht, Karin Anne
dc.date.accessioned 2018-06-05T20:04:55Z
dc.date.available 2018-06-05T20:04:55Z
dc.date.issued 2018-03-29
dc.identifier.uri http://jewlscholar.mtsu.edu/xmlui/handle/mtsu/5675
dc.description.abstract This thesis explores American advertising with a focus on health and medicine. Today, ads are integrated into the fabric of everyday life, subtly (or not-so-subtly) communicating to and about American culture. While advertising may not necessarily create society’s values, advertisements certainly convey existing values, tastes, and beliefs; therefore, the way that advertisers communicate messages regarding health arguably shapes consumers’ conceptions of disease and well-being. This thesis uses semiotic analysis as conceptualized by Roland Barthes and Ferdinand de Saussure, viewing communication as language systems constructed from visual, verbal, material, and immaterial elements. While comparing signs in advertising for 19th and early 20th century patent medicines and contemporary dietary supplements, this analysis explores each historical context including the history of American medicine, American advertising, and changing regulations. It explores the messages within the ads, the signs used to convey those messages, and the broader myths (cultural ideas) that those signs construct. These myths connect health and well-being to power, nature, and the idea of "the good life" in American culture as it has evolved over the past 150 years. While examining these signs within history, significant differences emerged, but also enduring truths that demonstrate how human nature is surprisingly familiar through the decades.
dc.publisher Middle Tennessee State University
dc.subject Advertising
dc.subject Dietary Supplements
dc.subject Health
dc.subject Media
dc.subject Patent Medicines
dc.subject Semiotics
dc.title From Cure-alls to Calcium Tablets: A Comparative Semiotic Analysis of Advertisements for 19th and 20th Century Patent Medicines and Contemporary Dietary Supplements
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.committeemember Farwell, Tricia
dc.contributor.committeemember Foss, Katie
dc.thesis.degreelevel Masters
dc.thesis.degreegrantor Middle Tennessee State University
dc.subject.umi Mass communication
dc.subject.umi Medicine
dc.description.degree M.S.
dc.contributor.department Mass Communications en_US


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search JEWLScholar@MTSU


Browse

My Account

Statistics