Sarina LaBold '14: Who Sets Our Agenda?
Every day we are bombarded by media messages from billboards, television commercials, online and print advertisements, radio messages, and colleagues. But do they affect us? If so, what do they determine for us?
These are the questions which Sarina LaBold ’14, a senior communications and English double major and history minor, explores in her thesis entitled “Monopolized Minds: Ford Motor Company and the Creation of Societal Ideals, Values, and Concerns.”
Noticing the effects that every company has on public persuasion during her studies at Cedar Crest, LaBold decided to focus on an influential and time-tested company who carried the United States into the industrial age: Ford Motor Company. While only producing a narrow slice of media messages during the century, Ford began as one of the United States’ big three industrialists in the first decade and has continued to be a major factor in the economic health of the country.
Ford has been a major factor in determining American ideals, values, and concerns from the beginning of their advertising with the Model T Ford through modern day ads; however, these advertisements often focus on social values and ideals and rarely address environmental concerns.
“After taking a course in Propaganda and Persuasion here at Cedar Crest, I became interested in the idea of governments and other agencies being able to alter the thoughts of each member of society,” LaBold said. “And I hope to change that.”
In combination with her thesis, LaBold is compiling a montage of Ford promotions paired with clips identifying the political/social movements and concerns of the time. She hopes that this project will encourage people to think about the messages that they are bombarded with every day and the effects that any single company can have on them.
The presentation and video screening will occur on the Honors Thesis Presentation Day on April 29 from 3:30-6 p.m. in Oberkotter 1 and Communication Department Defense Day on April 30 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Miller 33.
For more information about her research, contact Sarina LaBold at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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