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Meanings & Co. pp 213-266 | Cite as

Racism and Classism in Mexican Advertising

An Exhibition of Visual Messaging
  • Carl W. Jones
Chapter
Part of the Numanities - Arts and Humanities in Progress book series (NAHP, volume 6)

Abstract

This paper explores how Mexico’s population has been faced with the polemics of class and race. This division continues today through the Mexican ruling class’s appropriation of advertising. I am interested in the functions and systems in place that allow this to propagate and how meaning is being reproduced unperceived by the audience. My thesis question asks, What are the visual representations of the power relationships in Mexico’s political economy as reflected through the appropriation of advertising? To answer this question, I perform a semiotic analysis of branded advertising messages created by the companies Bimbo, Palacio de Hierro and FEMSA, owned by the Mexican ruling families Servitje, Baillares and Garza respectively. Each television commercial is examined for signs, cultural codes, gestures, gaze and word tracks. These signs are decoded, and the conclusion is expressed through “An Exhibition of Visual Messaging”, designed to inform the Mexican public of how messages are constructed and received, empowering the viewer to interpret and challenge the meaning behind the communications they are receiving through the metamedia.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ryerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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