September 24, 2012
Agency in Ecoporn and United Way
In both the Ecoporn and United Way articles, there was a idea that the mentioned ads/practices lead to the loss of agency for the represented group. Even though most of the examples were ads, there were still writers behind them, so I wondered how author function could fit into this idea of agency in the articles. In the United Way ads, the tone of the text encourages pity and guilt towards the disabled, but strives to make the reader feel good about them self. When the article mentioned how the tone of the ads differed throughout the years, i think that was also a good example of author function. Depending on the values of the decade, the ads othered the disabled base on different criteria. So, the authors of those had to be aware of what the common values were. They knew what was currently viewed as the "normal America." This shows that the ads existed alongside the common culture. In fact, since advertising has always tried to stay current with what the majority of people like and want, looking at older ads can give a lot of information about how writers attempted to appeal to their readers. I think a part of author function is being aware of your audience. In both Ecoporn and United Way, we see authors/text that are very aware of their audience, and so they were effective.