Coercion or "Why we listen to what they say." is a non-fiction book by Douglas Rushkoff about psychological devices used in various forms of media and interaction to influence others. It covers a very broad spectrum and it's a counter-culture jewel for anyone privy to the unconscious tv conspiracy.

The book opens with saavy salesmanship tactics containing an interview with a man who tugs emotional strings on elderly people to sell them beds and goes from there, covering everything from atmostpherics, like malls and theme stores, to the folly of D.B. Wells advertising agency with the Amstel account, to Leni Riefenstahl, to the corruption of rave culture by music companies and beyond.

Rushkoff is an expert on the media and advertising, often serving as a consultant for various companies. His writings on the subject are so good, that, despite his adversarial standpoint, advertising instructors have begun to use his books as teaching material. So, whether you're out to fuck the Man, or be the Man, if you're interested in underhanded media tactics, subtle messages, and semiotics, you should enjoy this book, and learn a great deal.

Co*er"cion (?), n. [L. coercio, fr. coercere. See Coerce.]

1.

The act or process of coercing.

2. Law

The application to another of either physical or moral force. When the force is physical, and cannot be resisted, then the act produced by it is a nullity, so far as concerns the party coerced. When the force is moral, then the act, though voidable, is imputable to the party doing it, unless he be so paralyzed by terror as to act convulsively. At the same time coercion is not negatived by the fact of submission under force. "Coactus volui" (I consented under compulsion) is the condition of mind which, when there is volition forced by coercion, annuls the result of such coercion.

Wharton.

 

© Webster 1913.

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