Buying and Believing: Sri Lankan Advertising and Consumers in a Transnational World

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, 2001 - Business & Economics - 263 pages
Advertising is a central part of the global system of commerce and culture. Every day it exposes consumers around the world to practices associated with the West, urban life, prosperity, and modernity. One consequence of this exposure is that it frees people's imaginations from time and place, and imposes a new and foreign reality. In this book Steven Kemper looks at a parallel trend, arguing that advertising firms in Nairobi, Caracas, and Colombo also domesticate the imagination, insinuating images into people's minds of the traditional as well as the modern, the local as much as the global.

Drawing upon fieldwork conducted over thirty years, Kemper examines the Sri Lankan advertising industry to show how executives draw on their skills as folk ethnographers to "Sri Lankanize" commodities and practices to make them locally desirable, essentially producing new forms of Sri Lankan culture. Addressing many of the most pressing agendas of contemporary anthropology, Buying and Becoming breaks new ground in studies of culture and globalization.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Preface
vii
Introduction
1
ONE Advertising as a Global Business
19
TWO Facing the Nation
44
THREE LocalWays of Being Foreign
74
FOUR The Sri Lankan Advertising Business
101
FIVE In the Local Idiom
130
SIX Banking and Belonging
160
SEVEN No 37 Sapugaswatte Road
193
EIGHT The Home and theWorld
225
Bibliography
237
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Steven Kemper is a professor of anthropology at Bates College. He is the author of numerous journal articles on Sinhala society and Buddhism and of the book, The Presence of the Past: Chronicles, Politics, and Culture in Sinhala Life.

Bibliographic information