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Consumer Culture, Young Voters, and American Presidential Elections

Jeremy B. Landa

Contents of Curriculum Unit 10.01.05:

To Guide Entry


Young people are an integral part of any country and in particular democratic and capitalistic countries like the United States. This significance is not only limited to their economic or social contributions, but also their political leanings. According to the Pew Research Center, "young people provided not only their votes but also many enthusiastic campaign volunteers. Some may have helped persuade parents and older relatives to consider Obama's candidacy. And far more young people than older voters reported attending a campaign event..." 1 Even though this younger generation is clearly powerful, in general, the older generation underestimates the youth of the United States and views them as passive consumers of politics.

Despite the prevailing social critique of teenagers as indifferent to the role they play in society, the 2008 election was a clear example of youth political engagement. The 20th century saw cycles of higher and lower levels of engagement for elections; concurrently society also saw the rise of an ideology that centered on consumerism. The civil rights movement afforded many examples of teenagers empowering themselves by acting as consumers. Prior to the 1960s, many critics were worried that the rise of popular media technologies such as television and radio -- would allow the racial integration of markets; the reverse actually happened. Black teenagers and citizens continued to be marginalized within society as workers and consumers.2 The 1960s was a reversal as the black consumer became more cognizant of how to change his or her place in society. This happened as young African Americans began to apply their individual understanding of their power when their consumer dollars were at work. One example of this awakening was the lunch counter sit-ins of 1960 and after; college students spearheaded the Greensboro, North Carolina sit-in at Woolworth's. The success of this event, where young African Americans banded together, resulted in one group beginning to understand how to use their identity and their economic resources to peacefully, but forcefully create change. As these events were unfolding, black and white youth came to political consciousness as they began to recognize the impact they could have in loosening the grip that Jim Crow Laws had on the United States. In turn, they also became more in tune with their powers as consumers and their responsibilities to each other during this time.

Herein lies the challenge for teachers in a modern American classroom. Teachers must balance the still widely held social critique that students are ineffective in a world they do not understand with the historical facts that show they actually have a considerable amount of consumer power. It is far fetched to say that high school students cannot achieve an understanding of the role consumerism plays when they are themselves consumers, and when they can study historical events that anticipate their experiences as teens. Thus, a teacher of civics or political science should ask how the study of presidential elections could help impress the importance of citizenship, and by extension, the right and obligation of voting, on teens in a consumer culture.

Therefore, consumer culture, both its visible and invisible aspects, and American presidential elections were chosen as the content for students to analyze. My assumption is that by having students scrutinize key elections and the major visible and invisible consumer movements, they can acquire a critical knowledge about the changing political system throughout history. Likewise, it will add intricacy to the views about the federal voting system by asking students to analyze why we are currently stuck with a political model where elected officials use scientific polling and market research to manipulate voters into consuming elections. As this evolves in politics, we eventually see John F. Kennedy known as a family man because of the effectiveness of his campaigns polling and research despite the fact that he had extramarital affairs. One result of this type of consumption is that many feel that their individual vote is not that important.

The introduction of the topic of consumerism requires some clarification from a political standpoint. Consumerism is an ideology that is most visible through the lens of leisure activities, although it has also permeated American politics. Consumerism in politics is an ideological system where individual candidates are marketed in a manner similar to a material product. Candidates are packaged for voter consumption. Each voter has individual access to all information available about each candidate. All individuals have equal opportunity to vote and choose the candidate they feel will best represent themselves.

A political system is consumer driven when it highlights themes that appeal to the voter. Individuals that appear youthful and energized, fashionable and intellectual, clean-cut and technologically savvy for their time are the most likely to succeed in federal elections. In a political process less driven by market models, candidates can portray their strengths and weaknesses without regard to the inclinations and assumptions of the voter. Hence, political consumerism in America has manifested itself by building a consumer culture supporting voters, technology, and the images politicians create. For instance, John F. Kennedy resonated with the American people when he was elected in 1960 because he had the ideals Americans hoped any President would have. He embraced the role of television by participating in the debates with Richard Nixon. He was, and still is, the youngest elected president in United States history. He was fashionable and clean-shaven in public. He had advertisements for the 1960 presidential campaign that portrayed him as a family man and supporter of all Americans regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. 3 Ultimately, he was an excellent example of how political packaging helps create a political model of consumerism, even if many would consider it a negative example.

By bringing this topic to a high school class, the intention is to challenge the consumer model of politics by creating a universe of obligation that is long-term. The voter today often feels limited in how influential he or she can be in federal elections, despite both politicians and political pundits citing the act of voting as an obligation. However, an ideological conflict exists between political consumption and obligation. This can only be resolved by creating a system where obligation joins with political consumerism working together to expand the role consumption plays in conjunction with politics.

While it is recognized that political consumerism allows voters to be manipulated by certain images, advertisements or marketing, this definition fails to identify two aspects of political consumption that would be vital towards the creation of a universe of obligation. One principle involves the government's support of the consumers and consumption, which is inspired by Franklin Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights in 1944, suggesting that spreading the wealth will result in heightened consumption across the country. The second philosophy is to create a government that has a clear purpose to protect the consumers directly against fraud and exploitation in the marketplace e.g. the newly created Consumer Protection Agency for bank customers. Hence, this illustrates a major problem with a narrow consumer culture within politics. The narrow view of the voter fails to create a reciprocal relationship between politicians and voters because voters are being pushed to cast a vote on the federal level, without stressing the act of voting as a long-term and ongoing contract between both parties. It is rather a means for an end for politicians in the United States today.

Therefore, a central premise of this unit is to push students to understand that consumer rights are more complex than a simple phrase like "shop 'til you drop". They are ongoing rights that change and that also imply a keen sense of political obligation and social responsibility. This sense of duty is what maintains the ability for all eligible voters of the United States to control their own destiny. Adding an obligation to vote is vital, in presidential elections as well as state and local elections, because voting and consumer rights are ideas that have historically appeared to be most powerful when they are mutually dependent on each other.

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The Universe of Obligation

A universe of obligation is built upon the idea that people must reflect and question their responsibilities to those around them, both near and far, and prioritize their commitment to working with those people or groups.4 Common examples of questions that help to create a universe of obligation are:

If you see a person drowning in front of you, do you help the individual?
If you hear screams for help from a person drowning, but cannot see them, do you help the individual?
If you know that an area of the ocean is dangerous to swim in, but will not be there at all hours of the day, do you help individual awareness of the dangers?
This is an idea that many civics teachers do not teach, but it is important when considering the creation of a universe of obligation for voters in the United States.

The political sphere, which has seen a drastic decrease in voter turnout in presidential elections since the late 1800s, is a place where many critics have associated consumerism with voter apathy. The goal of this unit is to establish a clear connection between the existence of consumer political rights and the obligation to vote.

In this respect, the ideal consumer citizen is someone who realizes the moral implications of their actions within a universe of obligation, despite the consumer culture, and makes the most ethical decision to help create more opportunity for all people, not just for themselves. Through the study of history, it is clear that as people have begun to understand and embrace these connections between individuals, rights, and obligations, their individual political rights have grown. Part of the reason for this success is because political movements are most successful as they are organized from the grass roots. Hence, the 1960s is an excellent example of how consumerism led a group of people from desiring the right to have material products, to claiming the access to private-owned spaces or services that serve the public, and, finally, to gaining access to consumer choice and political rights. The consumer citizen who resolves these philosophical differences gains the most out of their political consumer rights as well as presents the best opportunities to lead movements to change the narrow scope of consumers as only voters.

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Consumer Culture and Presidential Elections

Three presidential elections are pertinent to understanding the development of consumer culture in 20th and 21st century politics. Each election had qualities that separated it from other moments in American history and each told a story about consumerism, consumer culture, and helped develop a connection between consumer rights and the obligations to vote.

Each election also told a story about the development of technology over time. Consumption of each product altered the political landscape in such dramatic ways that it changed the manner in which the political marketing profession now approaches elections. In turn, those changes continue to affect the way that we are consumers of politics. For precisely that reason, the 1936 presidential election, the 1960 presidential election, and the 2008 presidential election were all "game changer" events that transformed politics into a consumer industry.

The 1936 election came at a time in American history when the mood of the country was extremely volatile due to the Great Depression. The early 1930s were characterized by a number of issues, the biggest of which stemmed from high unemployment, a lack of government intervention to support the people, and problems in the banking and farming sectors in particular. Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the role of the government with his election in 1932 and the New Deal, a series of initiatives that focused on reform of banks, recovery and relief of farms, and the creation of programs to put people back to work. It was a dramatic change in government policies, as the proactive support of the citizens was far different from any actions of the United States government through this point in American history.

The Second New Deal program neared its end as the election of 1936 was conducted. This program was an extension of the first New Deal (1933) and included the Social Security Act, which provided retirees with money as well as other programs that promoted the consumerism that many hoped would return the economy to more prosperous times. Programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) were consumerist ventures by a federal government interested in the expansion of the scope of services and pricing of electricity. Other programs specifically addressed the consumer; e.g. The Office of the Consumer Council in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA).5 The Second New Deal was based, in effect, on a model of a consumer citizen who understood his or her expenditures as contributions to the nation's prosperity. For this reason, this election was vital for the consumer model of democracy.

Likewise, this election was a landmark consumer election because of the changes that are associated around polling. The early 1900s saw the rise of social sciences and polling to collect data about the average person in America. Sarah Igo, a history professor who specializes in the history of the public sphere states, "Only in the years after World War I did mass surveys telling Americans 'who we are,' 'what we want,' and 'what we believe' enter the public domain. Over the next several decades, they would transform it."6 The 1936 election ended up being a perfect clash between the prevalent techniques of straw polling and the development of scientific reasoning in polling. Straw polling, an accumulation of data from pre-selected or methodologically convenient populations, was represented by the Literary Digest Poll of 1936, which predicted that Republican candidate Alfred Landon would win in a landslide.7 The Literary Digest article was skewed so badly because most of the people polled were Republican. Additionally, the people chosen to receive the surveys were the people with telephones in 1936, which skews the results most surveys come from the affluent.

Meanwhile, George Gallup launched his Gallup polls, a scientific poll that relied on quota sampling, which entails polling a representative sample of voters and non-voters. This was considered scientific because it relied on quality data over large quantities of consumers. Gallup very nearly predicted the result of the election, a landslide for Franklin D. Roosevelt, and brought credence to his style of opinion polling. 8 Hence, the polling process had reached a crossroads. The failure of Literary Digest's poll happened because of their reliance only on the number of responses. Meanwhile, Gallup relied on using a specific technique to gain a feel for the different types of people that could be part of the electorate. As a result, they were able to act more critically on smaller amounts of information collected. Thus, the magnitude of having the correct information available for both politicians and potential political consumers to interact with became vital for future elections. This change resulted in a larger and widespread reliance on opinion polling and political interactions between mass media, politicians, and voters.

The 1960 election was an interesting contrast to 1936 in many ways. The future president did not want alter the role of government in the economy. However, he did foresee a country that advanced the economic freedoms Roosevelt laid out in the 1940s. John F. Kennedy resonated with the American people because of his campaigns ability to create a profile of a vigorous, energetic, articulate person who was ready to help the country usher in a new era of prominence. Kennedy labeled his platform the New Frontier, which focused on changing the mindset of the consumer to "ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country".9 Kennedy asked people to begin thinking about their universe of obligation to each other and to country. He began the advancement of the country by pledging to put a man on the moon. However, at the same time Kennedy New Frontier also advocated an agenda of social justice. He raised minimum wage laws and increased Social Security benefits. He supported the advancement of the civil rights movement, although it did not happen during his presidency, and he helped protect James Meredith's attempt to integrate the University of Mississippi. The election was a "game changer" because Kennedy preached harmony among Americans and the world, while at the same time advancing the consumer agenda by raising minimum wages and increasing Social Security benefits. Again, the prevailing thinking was to put more money in the hands of the consumer to spend via tax cuts.

On the other hand, Kennedy also invisibly changed the consumer culture in politics drastically in regards to the performance aspect of the industry. Kennedy used television and political marketers to begin the process of constructing careful images of individual himself. This process added complexity to the consumer culture in politics expanding this culture to include advertising and marketing professionals. Consultants eventually came to be labeled as image-makers. Dan Nimmo, a political communication expert and professor, uses this term based on the work of Daniel Boorstin in the book The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America in an article titled "Political Image Makers and the Mass Media". He discusses how voters in elections look for two major things from any candidate. They look for a person who is party loyal and experienced and they judge candidates characters in the sense of looking at "the dramatic …and personal qualities" of each person.10 The image-maker, or political consultant who is aware of this, in turn, can inform their candidate on how to act, dress, and what to think. Ultimately, the image-maker helps shift the role of politics from a proactive product producer driven to a reactive product consumer driven. The candidate's image has become a mirror of what the consumer desires and is shaped by both consumer wants and political consultants and marketers. It is interesting to note that this is an extension of the polling process, as the political consultants and marketers build upon accepted polling practices to scientifically derive information to use in elections, loosely speaking. In addition, the election process changes for the consumer as well. Robert Westbrook, a professor of history at the University of Rochester, suggests that "in most of the country…winning elections became less a matter of mobilizing the faithful and more a matter of attracting the undecided. This reconceptualization of the voter as a consumer rather than a soldier was part of the effort of parties to maintain control over"...11 Ultimately, the Kennedy campaign introduced a strong performance aspect that television only enhanced of the man who became a product for the people.

The 2008 election was also a "game changing" election for a number of reasons. I chose this election because of the closeness this topic has to many of the students. It is recent and real as opposed to the other case studies that students will see. It also has a historic status marking the election of Barack Obama as the first black President. Obama inherited a country, however, that was in the midst of an economic crisis and developed political consumer policies were that to support and protect consumers. It is interesting to note that Obama fits similar molds to both Roosevelt and Kennedy. Beyond being the first black elected President, a monumental moment in the face of America's race relations, Obama entered office and immediately passed a financial bailout of the banking and automotive industries. He reformed health care in an attempt to minimize financial strains on the systems and he reformed banking to add more consumer protections. Again, the federal elections proved to be a place for mandates that support and protect consumers this election actually serves many to continue the equalization of opportunity for people to consume.

Obama's election in 2008 also held special cachet in the distinctive way it embraced social media networks. This process of mobilizing the electorate, as Westbrook suggests happened with Kennedy's campaign, is something that the Obama campaign capitalized upon in 2008; Obama attracts the undecided voter.12 This is a "game changer" in politics because previous campaigns had not benefited from this ability to organize and communicate with younger generations. The use of social media networks, such as Facebook©, Twitter™, and MySpace™ was an extremely perceptive strategy that related to the youth in the country. Barack Obama was more effective than John McCain at using this platform for motivating and engaging the people; the result certainly points to continued reliance on these sources of communication to organize and disseminate important information for the public. In this sense, consumer culture continues to grow as the voters desire to equalize voting opportunity with equal information of all candidates.

Changing consumer culture is evident within the development of each election. The clear connections from presidential elections that contain visible and invisible markers of consumerism exemplify how American politics became a consumer driven industry. Each case study illustrates similar policies from the president/government towards the development of consumers. Indirectly, the case studies also help students study lessons of how consumers utilize changing technologies over time. However, an important question should be reflected upon based on these various case studies. How do these elections help create a consumer citizen who believes in the power of the universe of obligation? The best type of consumer citizen is one who will recognize that the ongoing development of consumer rights should warrant a growth in the importance of a universe of obligation; this duty applies for the visible consumers of politics next to them as well as the invisible consumers of politics in Alabama, Florida, or anywhere across America.

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Technological Developments and Consumer Politics

Tracing the development of political marketing requires an examination of the "game changing" qualities of the aforementioned elections in respect to changing technologies of those times. In particular, it is recognizable that the winning candidates utilized certain technologies to help improve their popularity as well as to speak more directly and personally to the citizens of the country. The three technologies that were vital to these presidents were the radio, the television, and the internet. In 1936, 1960, and 2008 respectively, the presidential campaigns thrived largely because of the consumer availability of new technology innovations. In turn, the candidates themselves embraced these products, which served as a direct connection to the people.

Franklin Roosevelt gained power in the early 1930s eventually embracing an agenda pushing interventionist fiscal and monetary policies. With these ideas came fears of communist and socialist governments. Roosevelt had to find an effective form of communication that spoke directly to the people, the consumers, of the country. He did this by capitalizing on the rise of the radio in popular culture. Roosevelt used fireside chats to communicate directly with the people. His embrace of the technology allowed him to speak freely to the people, to overcome their qualms, and allay their fears about the position that America was in during the Great Depression. He eloquently presented ideals of social democracy through the Second Bill of Rights, which was presented in a fireside chat. While the ideas have never fully taken with the American people, moments like these distinguish his presidency's use of technology and embrace of political consumerism

John F. Kennedy turned the act of voting into an overt consumer act. He did this by profiting from the rise of a consumer culture that supported television. Television becomes a connection between the people, the candidate, and political marketers or consultants. Between 1950 and 1960, the number of households with televisions skyrockets from 9.0% to 87.1%.13 The voter, who wanted to choose the best candidate, now had visual stimuli to picture the candidate. The 1960 presidential debates between Kennedy and Richard Nixon is the introduction of television and politics. Kennedy became president, in part because his campaign was able to utilize the opinion polling information it acquired to exploit the quality of Kennedy as a photogenic candidate. The television debates were "game changing" events because radio listeners often identified Richard Nixon as the winner while television viewers assigned the win to Kennedy. These moments changed how candidates approach future elections and continued to develop candidates who molded themselves based on voter/consumer desires.

Barack Obama used the internet and social media networks to organize the electorate and specifically to engage very particular demographics of the population as never before. The internet began in earnest in the 1970s as ARPANET, a government driven organization deriving ways to communicate through computer systems. Simultaneously, the developments of personal computers by Apple, International Business Machines (IBM), and Microsoft was influential creating a consumer culture that would have the desire to use internet the way it is used today. However, it took the development of stronger computers and internet support for the internet to move from a government entity to public consumer product. The dawn of a new millennium was the turning point for the internet as social media networking exploded. America Instant Messenger (AIM), an extension of America Online (AOL), afforded individuals the opportunity to communicate in private chat rooms. As this technology was accepted by younger generations, other social networking sites flourished. Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are three that distinguished themselves by 2008. This is vital to consider because Obama turned social media into the newest frontier to organize and enthuse the electorate. He communicated in very specific ways to very specific groups. His advisors embraced and created a frenzy about Obama with voters and youth as a man who could lead America towards a second Progressive Era of change. His campaigns ability to communicate directly with the younger generations did not necessarily influence more young voters to vote, but it moved them to participate in politics. The use of this technology enhanced voters abilities to interact with candidates directly.

Consumerism in politics enmeshed itself with the development of consumer culture technologies in the 20th and early 21st centuries. As the growth of industry changed the technologies, opportunities emerged for candid moments to be transmitted to eager consumers quickly. Presidential elections serve as primary historical markers towards establishing an understanding of the consumerization of politics in the country. However, this emergent consumer culture in politics has not created the types of engagement in the political process that people have desired. The kinds of social and civic obligations articulated by all three presidents remain something of an abstraction for most Americans in the four years separating presidential election. When these connections are made for young people, future generations voting rights will have a heightened importance; elections will have higher participation and be more representative of the desires of the people.

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Students and Empowerment

This unit is tailored for a civics class with some specific applications for any United States history class. I teach eleventh and twelfth-grade students at Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School in New Haven, CT. Coop High School serves a student population that is not only diverse ethnically and culturally, but draws students who are performance artists in music, dance, visual and performing arts. At such a place, there exists immense opportunity for the delivery of instruction to creative learners. 12th grade students at Coop High School and New Haven Public Schools are required to study the election process. It is most important within this period for students to begin developing a serious understanding of their own roles within a democracy. My desire is for them to begin asking serious questions to discuss what criteria are needed for a democracy to be successful, on both a large and small scale. For example, asking themselves questions like the following will serve them well:

What are your societal obligations as a consumer citizen?
How is politics driven by how we consume, and how can presidential elections serve to inform me about the connections between consumption and power, citizenship and politics?

By starting on the biggest stage, students are likely to be most interested in and familiar with presidential elections. This is not meant to dismiss the importance of state and local elections, which often have more immediate impacts upon students' lives. Rather, it is to focus the concept of a universe of obligation as it describes the responsibilities of being an American. That is, presidential elections should exemplify how voting influences neighbors in Connecticut and Alaska, Michigan and Texas. In doing this, students ultimately have the opportunity to approach voting as an obligation to maintain their consumer rights.

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Unit Overview

This will be an approximately four-week unit that will focus itself on three major case studies plus the final project. The final project will be to create a political propaganda advertisement, which demonstrates a synthesis of the students demonstrating a consumer politics perspective, with polling, and producer politics perspective, one that is without polling.

The case studies that will drive student's explorations into the history of the election process are as follows:

Case Study 1: Students will explore 1936 Presidential Election, the "Second New Deal", polling Literary Digest and Gallup polls, and radio technology
Case Study 2: Students will explore the 1960 election, The New Frontier, political marketing, and television technology.
Case Study 3: Students will explore the 2008 election, the election of the first black president, political marketing, and new social media technologies

While the case studies have some variation within them, the students; primary goal should be to connect the changing political culture of elections to the visible and invisible consumer cultures of the times, e.g. to see FDR's use of fireside chats as well as the polling techniques that predicted his loss (and win in Gallup polls). By the conclusion of the three case studies, students will be able to reflect upon the disconnect between voting as an obligation and voting as a right on the federal level; holding that knowledge is an opportunity to organize and influence the relationship between political consumption and political obligations. This is, in effect, an attempt to broaden political consumption to include not just the negatives of manipulated candidates, but also the positives of consumer protection and a consumer culture that encourages the consumer that spends money is helping everyone gain wealth and rights.

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Overarching Class Question

1.How does the study of government and current events help impress the importance of citizenship and by extension, the obligations and responsibilities we have as consumer citizens in America?

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Unit Specific Essential Questions (to correspond with the unit overview themes)

1.Why are the 1936, 1960, and 2008 elections examples of "game changers" from a social, economic, political, and technological standpoint? Explain.
2.What kind of behaviors would be expected from morally and ethically centered consumer citizen in 2010?

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Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1

Key Question: What are consumerism, consumer culture, and a consumer citizen? Why is the universe of obligation an idea that is particularly powerful in consumer politics?

Lesson Goals: 1) Students will define consumerism, consumer culture, and consumer citizens; 2) Students will evaluate the universe of obligation in respect to voting rights and consumer rights

Homework: Read "Landon in a Landslide: The Poll that Changed Polling" found using a Google search. Use your textbook to create a definition of a scientific poll and a straw poll.

The lesson will begin with a short lesson on the universe of obligation. The students will work through a development of a universe of obligation that begins with an examination of a song like Kanye West's "Diamonds of Sierra Leone", a song based on the problems with blood diamonds in Africa. The activity will ask students to consider the lyrics as well as their individual obligations to citizens of Africa. Should they buy diamonds that have not been legally obtained? Do the people working and dying to mine the diamonds fall into their individual universe of obligation? The reason for an activity like this is that the universe of obligation is the focal point of developing voting responsibility.

Following this, we will develop a list of items that people consume daily. The list will be subdivided into categories such as economic, political, social or other. The purpose of developing a list like this is to qualify consumerism and consumer culture in our society. So often people overlook how the things they buy or do not buy make them consumers. More so, they probably do not consider the candidates they will vote for to be products nor do they realize that government policies exist to protect them as consumers and the people they elect may choose to expand or contract these rights. All of these ideas interrelate to create a definition of a consumer citizen of politics that can expand to include the recognition of the powers that organized groups can hold in America.

The stage is set for students to begin integrating their understanding of consumerism to the changes that have happened in the political system over time. This is one opportunity to link the concepts of consumerism and voting. The students will be asked to think about two scenarios that happen. They are cause-effect scenarios that have people choosing to vote or not, and the subsequent effects of their choice. (see Appendix A). These scenarios should require some role-playing as students will begin the process of questioning whom they are responsible for thinking about as consumer citizens. Ultimately, this type of work will build the theoretical basis for developing a political universe of obligation of voters. Students will not be expected to connect consumerism to voting obligation after today, but they should understand the elected candidate's influence on them. This lesson will also set the stage for analysis of the 1936 election, a pivotal point changing how consumers approach elections. In the process, we have also established definitions for consumption, consumer culture, and began to create one for a consumer citizen. This day should establish the tone for connecting voting responsibility to political consumerism.

Assessment for Understanding: Exit Ticket will be for students to define the consumerism, consumer culture, consumer citizen, and universe of obligation.

Lesson Plan 2

Key Question: What can the 1936 election teach us about opinion polling?

Lesson Goals: 1) Identify the pros and cons associated with straw and scientific opinion polling; 2) Analyze the 1936 election polling organizations to understand the implications on consumption

Homework: Browse the website www.fivethirtyeight.com. Choose an opinion poll, identify two positives and two negatives about polling.

The lesson of this class will focus in on the 1936 Presidential Election as a case study. The Do Now for the class will have two purposes; one is to inform students about the 1936 election candidates and the buildup in a historical sense. The second is for students to answer a question about the importance of opinion polling in the consumer driven society. After a short discussion on that, the class will move on to the major focus the 1936 election.

The historical background on the event is as follows. As Roosevelt is seeking re-election in 1936, the magazine Literary Digest, introduces its annual President poll. Throughout the existence of the magazine s publication, it had correctly called each election since 1916 by conducting social science surveys as a predictor of the will of the people. It is interesting to note that the magazine acknowledges within the article that the polls they conduct are straw polls, or informal polls; yet they publish this article with an air of certainty, though readers later found out are polls skewed by the participants, who are mostly affluent individuals. The poll ends disastrously for Literary Digest as they predict a landslide in Alfred Landon's favor, but the final voting favors FDR, with his taking 60% of the popular vote. Ultimately, the goal is for students to recognize that scientific polling is more reliable than straw polling and that each has strengths and weakness.

Since the introduction to the lesson focuses on opinion polls, it is only fitting that we read about the 1936 Presidential election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Students will begin by taking out their homework, which is the Literary Digest article, and the class will discuss the questions that students have answered in conjunction with reading the article. (Appendix B) They will use this case study as a starting point for identifying what the difference is between a straw poll, one that is not sampled properly, and a scientific poll, which uses quota sampling that assigns weights to the different types of voters who may or may not participate in an election. The reasoning behind using this poll is because of the errors that Literary Digest committed. Ultimately, this election is the first to turn polling into as much science as art. This is true because in the same year Gallup Polls, founded by George Gallup, very nearly predicted the election accurately. Pollsters and politicians found themselves at a crossroads: accurate polling was now looking to be indispensable. The methods of determining an accurate poll were proving to be important, as were bias and process. Students will read a selected piece that will highlight the history of the two types of polls.14

Once the class has established a pros-and-cons list for the Literary Digest poll, they will be broken into two reading groups: one, about the history of Gallup polls, and the other reading about the failures of the Literary Digest poll. One example that could be used for the second reading is the work by Peverill Squire called "Why the 1936 Literary Digest Poll Failed".15 Squire's piece could be considered here because it is written through the eyes of a historian. Meanwhile, Gallup Poll's website is a great place to begin searching for some history on the organization. In particular, something that is interesting to look at is the success of Gallup polls surrounding presidential elections.16 By the conclusion of this task, students should be able to clearly identify the pros and cons of the scientific and straw polling cases presented before them, the examples being the 1936 Literary Digest poll and Gallup polls.

After the conclusion of this task, the major assignment will be introduced. One aspect of the major assignment will be to create an opinion poll and conduct polling (see Appendix C), which will serve as a demonstration of students' understanding of the techniques of polling, how it works, and its relationship with consumption.

Assessment for Understanding: Exit Ticket: Write 3 questions for your group that your group intends to use to poll your classmates. These questions should help you tailor your advertisement in ways that a politician may have used in 1936, 1960 or 2008. This also can serve as a moment to preview the upcoming cases that will be explored during class.

Lesson Plan 3

Key Question: How does radio and Franklin D. Roosevelt's fireside chats signify a change in political consumer culture in 1936?

Lesson Goals: 2) Analyze the importance and messages of fireside chats

Homework: Predict three changes that happen in politics as the U.S. moves from the medium of transmitting information via radio to the medium of transmitting information via television.

The lesson itself is a brief jump into the history of radio as well as a chance to listen to a Franklin D. Roosevelt fireside chat. It is a chance to establish the political consumer culture of the radio, the consumer culture and economy being embedded in society by FDR, and the beginning of the creation of a consumer citizen.

The Do Now will begin with the students completing a text-on-text activity where they examine selected quotes and photographs about the immersion of radio into popular culture. The point of this activity is too see and read some of the ideas and changes that radio causes in American society.

From this list, the students will then move into an examination of a Roosevelt fireside chat.17 The students can look at the fireside chat itself using a couple of methods. The first suggestion would be for the students to look at a larger piece of one speech. The selected piece should include specific discussion about the specific programs that the government created to help put money in the hands of the consumer. In essence, this becomes the government's style of creating a consumer. Roosevelt frequently discussed his programs within his chats. The other way could be to pick 3 5 selected clips from various speeches that all discuss the consumer. Subsequently, students will answer questions that extrapolate the importance that Roosevelt puts on the consumer in this context. Within that frame, the class will reference the definitions they have created about consumer culture, consumerism, and consumer citizen.

Today will be the first day that we will begin developing a definition of the consumer citizen that will be iterative as the class progresses through the unit. The idea is to associate 1936 with a changing consumer culture. This should allow the class to think about the idea of citizenship through the idea of a consumer citizen: again, someone who negotiates the consumerism ideology while regaining their moral compass to social justice. Obviously, in this case, as the teacher, you must be prepared for a variety of philosophies to be elicited from the group.

Assessment for Understanding: Each student will write a definition for the consumer citizen and five will be asked to share with the class. The whole class will come up with the first definition of an engaged consumer citizen based on the five that share. This definition will be centered around a universe of obligation that each person should feel personally responsible for contributing towards as a voter.

Lesson Plan 4

Key Question: Who are image-makers and how do they change the consumer culture of politics?

Lesson Goals: 1) Students will identify the history of the television as an item of consumption; 2) Students will analyze the role of the image-maker in the creation of the ideal politician

Homework: Look up the Kennedy-Nixon debates online and list three reasons that Kennedy and Nixon seem like good or bad candidates.

This lesson will focus on how John F. Kennedy's political consultants and marketers framed his image in conjunction with the consumerization of television. Kennedy is a performer, influenced by both television and his consultants. While FDR had placed consumers more firmly in control of their future, JFK elevated the presidential election to not only more consumable with radio and television, but also a process that had many different actors influencing the voter. FDR has created programs for the consumer to gain strength as well as revitalized and moved the economy to consider the importance of the people as spenders. Kennedy takes that further by pushing all voters to have the opportunity to select the best product along with image-makers creating a product that they believe is best suited for consumers to select.

The Do Now will be for students to receive a timeline on the history of television that includes the timeframe between 1935 and 1965. Students will identify five events that they feel are meaningful and influential towards television's becoming a big business. The purpose of an activity like this is for students to receive a short historical introduction to the television that provides basis for the development of television within a consumer culture. It also will serve well to connect radio to television. At the same time, the polling process will be a significant factor here because of the image-makers and opinion polls, which students will have begun to explore earlier in the unit.

The image-makers and political consultants themselves are rather fascinating within the context of the consumer. Nevertheless, what is the image-maker and why do politicians need them? Within this context, students will read a piece that discusses some of the failures of Kennedy as the president. The purpose of students engaging in this task is to provide them the opportunity to reflect on the parallels between how JFK was perceived in history and some factual events that make him more human. Appendix D provides some suggested questions to spark a small discussion among the class. Students will come up with a list of things that they believe embodies the best politicians and if time permits they could watch a clip from a movie such as Sidney Lumet's "Power" (1986), Robert Drew's documentary "Primary (1960), or some of the commercials from the 1960 election through the website www.livingroomcandidate.org.

After image-makers have been discussed, the class will revisit the idea of opinion polling and begin examining some present cases through the website www.fivethirtyeight.com, to begin to analyze two more cases of opinion polling. The class should begin to build an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the process. At this point, they will begin practicing the process of polling to be used in their final project by writing 3 5 questions that are unbiased. After the groups do this, they will share as a class, and the class will discuss good questions and poor questions. In the end of this process, they will select a few questions that they plan to use to conduct polling, albeit a straw poll in style for the sake of time.

The synthesis of this lesson is that the stage has been set to understand how the consumer citizen has changed between 1936 and 1960. In particular, it will utilize Kennedy's use of television and political consultants and how the political consumer relationship to politicians has grown more intricate.

Assessment for Understanding: Exit Ticket If you were running for president, what strengths would an image-maker and political consultant accentuate about you? What weaknesses would they ignore about you?

Lesson Plan 5

Key Question: How does the 1960 election signify a change in political consumer culture?

Lesson Goals: 1) Identify the consumer culture technology shift and its connection to consumer politics 2) Analyze the 1960 election as a case study for the continued consumerization of politics

Homework: List five ways that peoples' lives have changed with the invention of social networking websites

The election of JFK can be viewed as a challenge to the universe of obligation because of the values that he represents; he suggests putting country before self, but at the same time it has to be questioned whether he put country before self in his campaign marketing strategies, which further the consumerization of politics in America. With this in mind, this lesson is ultimately a chance to drive home some important points about history, about JFK, and about the role of television in changing how politics is consumed. More importantly, it should challenge whether Kennedy embraced the universe of obligation for voting, as his rhetoric suggests, or if he used the universe of obligation to fulfill a short-term goal of his own.

The Do Now will ask students to journal on JFK's famous inaugural address quote "ask not what your country can do ask what you can do for your country". The reasoning behind choosing this is a logical tension exists between a political process that encourages a passive, consumerist view of what voting is and a campaign platform that calls upon voters to envision a universe of political obligation. While examining this question, students can be asked to discuss how their universe of obligation has changed in light of examining the 1936 election. Additionally, they should discuss Kennedy's quotes and implications on the universe of obligation for voters in the 1960s. This compare-and-contrast is a great way for students to contextualize the changes in the consumer culture of politics between 1936 and 1960, or at least the government demands on the consumer.

The lesson will move towards the idea of how image-makers shaped JFK himself. First, the students will watch a political advertisement from 1960 that is a jingle about JFK.18 It is a well-known advertisement that portrays Kennedy as a family man, as a leader, as an equa-rights supporter, and as the candidate to shape America for the future. It leaves the viewer feeling as if Kennedy is almost immortal. The stage has thus been set to discuss image-makers. The image of Kennedy in that advertisement plays to his strengths in some ways, but also develops strengths that the people of the time wanted from a leader vigor, photogenic, social democrat, civil rights activist, family man. It is a great example of some of the power that image-makers had in portraying politicians in different ways to convince the voter how to consume/vote.

This ideal will only be furthered by watching a clip of the JFK- Richard Nixon debates in 1960.19 A search engine will help them locate some videos of the debates. The debates are interesting because some say that while Nixon may have won by speech alone, Kennedy's ability to portray something visually endearing helped sway many undecided voters to him. At the conclusion of these debates, Kennedy should be juxtaposed as a person in the middle of the dawning of the age of television. On one hand, he is this charismatic figure that Americans love; on the other, he has reached this status because of his campaign marketers and polls. The result is a clear tension in the political process that in an idealized way is being asked by Kennedy to meet its obligations for the people while they do the same for the country. Appendix E gives some suggested questions for students to think about as they watch a 10 15 minute clip on the Kennedy-Nixon debates.

At this point, it is time for students to reflect again on the obligations, rights, and responsibilities of the consumer citizen. They will develop a new definition about the consumer citizen in similar way to previous classes. At the conclusion of the unit, the students will compare the changing definition, as they have learned history, to synthesize a conclusion about the consumer citizen today. The consumer citizen should begin taking shape as someone who votes not merely for themselves, but for their universe of obligation. Therefore, students should be asking some questions about how they can influence politics.

Assessment for Understanding: Each student will write a definition for the consumer citizen and five will be asked to share with the class. The whole class will come up with the first definition of an engaged consumer citizen based on the five that share.

Lesson Plan 6

Key Question: How do election posters and social networking change how we consume politics in 2010?

Lesson Goals: 1) Understand the history of social networking 2) Analyze the role of election posters and social networking in the 2008 election

Homework: Complete the discussion guiding questions in preparation for the teacherless discussion

This lesson will be the last case study; it will focus on the history of social networking. We also will take a brief peek at elections posters and how they impact the consumer culture. The Do Now will involve students sharing how they believe social networking has changed the world they reside in today. In the process, they will gain an understanding of the powers of social networking.

Following the Do Now, students will read a short history of social networking. Since social networking websites are so entrenched, especially with the youth today, it is important to detail to the students that social networking was preceded by the internet and for them to consider how drastically it has changed the landscape. At this point, students will examine and think about how Obama's campaign used social networking techniques to alter the political landscape. Recent research efforts indicate the number of young voters is growing and it could be attributed to efforts like this, which speak to the youth. The class will be designed around students creating a Facebook page, written version, which appeals to the common voter today. They will have to take the consumer-driven political model into account, which will feed into the role of political marketers as the students will be required to think about what an ideal politician "looks", "acts", and "behaves" like. The point of this activity is to have students consider the powers of social media networking websites.

The last part of the class will involve election posters. Students will be asked to participate in some text-on-text activities with election posters. The students have another chance to think about how artwork creates an image of people that the public consumes. An obvious choice for an election poster could be Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster. The image he created was from a Daily News photo and he himself rose from a graffiti artist whose work appeared on public buildings. His poster therefore has the feel of a grassroots message that came from the people for the people. However, as an educator there are hundreds of election posters to choose from. Any internet search with the Presidential candidate and the year should uncover some excellent examples that can be isolated from the consumer standpoint.

The selected presidential case studies should enable students to appreciate and better understand the link between consumption and politics. Students will have definitions that firmly identify consumer culture, consumer economy, and the consumer citizen. The lessons of consumption, both visible and invisible, should set the stage for the final lesson, a group discussion and, subsequently, the creation of an advertisement to appeal to a consumer-driven world.

Assessment for Understanding: Each student will write a definition for the consumer citizen and five will be asked to share theirs with the class. The whole class will come up with the first definition of an engaged consumer citizen based on the five that share.

Lesson Plan 7

Key Question: What is an individual's political universe of obligation in the United States? What can I do to influence politics as a engaged consumer citizen?

Lesson Goals: 1) Students will synthesize American presidential elections and consumer politics in a teacherless discussion

This lesson will follow a seminar discussion format, which is called a teacherless discussion. The setup for this lesson is seen in Appendix F and the students are expected to do some preparation outside of class to participate. This culminating activity is meant to be graded much as a test would be. It requires a teacher to take diligent notes and is fruitful in measuring where the students are in their understanding on the content. This should be coupled in an 85-minute class with a summary writing activity that includes the student's reflections and thoughts on the topic. A suggested way to have them write would be for them to write a five-paragraph essay that answers one of the essential questions of the unit.

Assessments for understanding: Discussion and summative essay answering essential questions.

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Cohen, Lizabeth. "The New Deal State and the Making of Citizen Consumers" in Getting and Spending: European and American Consumer Societies in the Twentieth Century, eds by Susan Strasser, Charles McGovern, and Matthias Judt (Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 1998), 111 - 147.

This article is part of a collection of works that discusses the history of consumer societies in Europe and America in the 1900's. For teacher primarily.

Igo, Sarah. The Averaged American. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007). This book provides an important history of the development of the polling process within politics to create an average American. For teachers primarily.

Keeter, Scott, Juliana Horowitz, and Alec Tyson. "Young Voters in the 2008 Election." Pew Research Center for People and the Press, http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1031/young-voters-in-the-2008-election (accessed June 30, 2010)

This article discusses the young voter with applicable graphs that shows the emerging trends of young voters. For student use.

Nimmo, Dan. "Political Image Makers and the Mass Media." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 427 (Sept 1976): 33 44.

This article is an example of a historian discussing the context and connection between political image-makers and the media. Usable with honors students.

Squire, Peverill. "Why the 1936 Literary Digest Poll Failed," The Public Opinion Quarterly 52, No. 1 (Spring 1988): 125 133, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2749114 (accessed May 31, 2010).

This piece explains the failings of the 1936 Literary Digest Poll. Usable with students.

Palladino, Grace. "The Content of Their Character: Black Teenagers and Civil Rights in the South" in Teenagers: An American History. (New York: Basic Books, 1996).

This chapter focuses on young African Americans, Central Falls High School, and the economic boycotts that impact American integration. Usable with students.

Westbrook, Robert B. "Politics as Consumption: Managing the Modern American Election." In the The Culture of Consumption: Critical Essays in American History, 1880 - 1980, eds. by Richard Wrightman Fox and T.J. Jackson Lears (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), 145 173.

This chapter develops the history of politics as a consumer driven product between 1880 - 1890. Excellent for teachers. Useable with honors students, but a dense read for them.

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Web Resources

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu - a website called "the American Presidency Project that contains 87,944 documents related to the Presidency.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/ - a website for analysis of the techniques and the information that is provided in opinion polls.

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1031/young-voters-in-the-2008-election A website that discusses the polarity of voters, particularly young voters and how that will impact future elections on the Presidential level.

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5168/ - A website created by the American Social History Project that serves as an online "U.S. survey course on the web".

http://www.tvb.org/rcentral/mediatrendstrack/tvbasics/02_TVHouseholds.asp Chart showing changing statistics on television households in 5-year increments.

http://millercenter.org/scripps/archive/speeches A site that has many presidents' speeches in written and audio form, including most of FDR's fireside chats.

http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/ - A site that contains presidential election advertisements between 1952 2008. http://ajws.org/what_we_do/education/resources/core_curriculum/ - A site with curriculum for the universe of obligation.

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Appendix A Scenarios for impact of political consumption

1.Scenario 1: Shaquella decides not to vote in the upcoming election because the issues, taxes and foreign policy, are not very important to her immediate life. After she chooses not to vote, the candidate elected wins by a small margin. The candidate who wins designs policies that affect many people. The candidate raises taxes by 20% for all citizens. (S)he also decides to create a policy of isolation, which hurts businesses in the country because trading decreases. Who are the people directly and indirectly affected in Shaquella's universe of obligation? When she votes should she have an obligation to those not within her immediate universe of obligation? Why or why not? Explain.
2.Scenario 2: Marcus is a wealthy entrepreneur who grew up in a poor area, but through hard work and a good education was able to start his own business. He decides to vote in the presidential election for a candidate because the candidate wants to lower taxes for him, as a very wealthy American. The decrease in taxes will lower the amount of money the government has, which will eventually hurt the lowest income people in the country. After 5 years, the candidate Marcus voted for and who was elected has lowered the taxes enough that Medicaid, food stamps, and social security payments are decreased by 50% for everyone. Who are the people directly and indirectly affected in Marcus' universe of obligation? When he votes should he have an obligation to those not within his immediate universe of obligation? Why or why not? Explain.

Appendix B 1936 Literary Digest Study

1.What are the historical factors that are important to this case study?
2.Is this poll a straw poll or a scientific poll? Use evidence to indicate which one you believe the case exemplifies.
3.What are the pros and the cons of this type of polling style? Explain.
4.How does the Literary Digest Poll, which suggests Landon will win the 1936 election, important to the consumer culture in politics?

Appendix C - Election Process, Public Opinion, and Propaganda Assignment

You will create a political propaganda advertisement that demonstrates your understanding of the consumer driven Presidential election as well as a non-consumer driven Presidential election. You will accomplish the following with this task: 1) You will show your originality in creating advertisements that are propaganda based. 2) You will show you understand the power of the spoken word and persuasion in our society. 3) You will clearly identify how politics has become a consumer-driven industry. 4) You will clearly understand the universe of obligation for voting 5) Projects count for 25% of the grade for each term. Project Guiding Questions: 1) Who is the target of your consumer driven advertisement? 2) What are the characteristics of the candidate that a consumer is looking for according to your poll questions? (explain candidate in terms of making them legitimate, so age, gender, ethnicity, religion, political background, and anything else you think is important.) 3) What is the ideal candidate according to you? (explain candidate in terms of making them legitimate, so age, gender, ethnicity, religion, political background, and anything else you think is important.) 4) What persuasion methods will you use to convince your audience of your message? 5) What current problems in America are important to consumers? What are important to politicians?

Consumption as politics? Evaluation of Projects

Answer the following questions as you listen to each presentation (5 points).

Appendix D Questions for thinking about Image-makers

1.Why are there contradictions between John F. Kennedy the politician and John F. Kennedy the person?
2.What role does an image-maker play in trying to create the perfect politician?
3.How does an image-maker make appropriate decisions about the people they are advising?
4.What does not appeal to you about either candidate?
5.Why would either of them hire an image-maker or a political consultant?

Appendix E Questions for Kennedy/Nixon debates

1.What does Kennedy suggest that appeals to the consumer voter?
2.What does Nixon suggest that appeals to the consumer voter?
3.Why do you think that people listening on the radio thought Nixon won the debate?
4.Why do you think that people watching on television thought Kennedy won the debate ?
5.How does the use of television begin to change how Americans in the 1960s consumed politics and politicians?

Appendix F - Almost Teacherless Civics Discussion

Election Process What is a consumer citizen and what makes someone a responsible citizen of democracy? As part of your Projects/Writing/Discussion Group grade on the Election Process unit, we will have an almost teacherless discussion.

In your opinion, which case study was the most influential towards the creation of a consumer citizen, consumer culture, and consumer economy around politics?
Do propaganda campaigns, image-makers, political consultants, and public relations firms have a place in politics? Why?
Is voting the only thing necessary for a consumer citizen to be considered responsible and engaged in the American democracy? If not, how do responsible consumer citizens behave?
Here is how you will be assessed: 50 Possible Points, Everyone will start the discussion with 30 points. The ideal participant in the conversation will contribute his/her own ideas to the conversation, but also listen to the ideas of his/her classmates. It is less important to be the star of the conversation, than to help the class build a collective answer to the posed questions. You can receive points by: 1) Making a comment that relates to the question (5); 2) Referring to the a reading in a productive way (5); 3) Building on someone else's ideas (5); 4) Building on someone else's ideas and referring to a reading (10); 5) Asking a question of your classmates (5); 6) Asking a question that spurs a discussion (10); You can lose points by: 1) Monopolizing conversation (5); 2) Interrupting someone (5); 3) Putting someone else's ideas down in a disrespectful way (5)

Guiding Questions for Discussion. 1. Why was the radio a game changer for the 1936 election? How did Franklin D. Roosevelt utilize radio and how does this connect to consumer politics? 2.Why is the Literary Digest magazine article that predicts Landon will win the election important to consumer polling? What does that tell us about consumer politics? 3.Why was the television a game changer for the 1960 election? How does television change how consumers are able to view politicians like John F. Kennedy? 4. Why was social networking media a game changer for the 2008 election? How does a social networking medium allow consumers to change the playing field for viewing politicians like Barack Obama? 5. Is voting the only thing necessary for a consumer citizen to be considered responsible and engaged in the American democracy? If not, how do responsible consumer citizens behave? 6. Who are image-makers and political consultants? How do they behave and is that relevant to you as a consumer? How and why?

Appendix G: Curriculum Alignment

National Standards

National Council of the Social Studies Standard 10: Civic Ideals and Practices. What is civic participation and how can I be involved? How has the meaning of citizenship evolved? What is the balance between rights and responsibilities? What is the role of the citizen in the community and the nation, and as a member of the world community?

State Standards

State of Connecticut History 1.8 Students will be able to describe interactions between citizens and their government in the making and implementation of laws. Thread 41. Analyze the role of technology, media, and advertising in influencing voting and lawmaking.

New Haven Standards

New Haven Civics 3.3 Students will appraise the impact of the media and political parties and its influence on the election process

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1 Scott Keeter, Juliana Horowitz, and Alec Tyson, "Young Voters in the 2008 Election," Pew Research Center for People and the Press, http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1031/young-voters-in-the-2008-election.
2 Grace Palladino, "The Content of Their Character: Black Teenagers and Civil Rights in the South" in Teenagers: An American History (New York: Basic Books, 1996), 176.
3 Found on website http://www.livingroomcandidate.org (accessed July 21, 2010).
4 Found on http://ajws.org/what_we_do/education/resources/core_curriculum/ (accessed July 20, 2010).
5 Lizabeth Cohen. "The New Deal State and the Making of the Citizen Consumers" in Getting and Spending: European and American Consumer Societies in the Twentieth Century, edited by Susan Strasser, Charles McGovern, and Matthias Judt. (Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 1998). 119.
6 Sarah Igo, The Averaged American (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), 3.
7 Found on http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5168/ (accessed July 22, 2010).
8 Found on http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/preferences.php (Accessed May 31, 2010).
9 Found on http://bartleby.net/124/pres56.html (Accessed July 21, 2010).
10 Dan Nimmo, "Political Image Makers and the Mass Media," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 427 (Sept 1976): 37
11 Robert B. Westbrook, "Politics as Consumption: Managing the Modern American Election," in The Culture of Consumption: Critical Essays in American History, 1880 - 1980, ed. Richard Wrightman Fox and T.J. Jackson Lears (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), 152.
12 Ibid, 152.
13 Found on http://www.tvb.org/rcentral/mediatrendstrack/tvbasics/02_TVHouseholds.asp (accessed July 26, 2010).
14 Found on http://www.capitalcentury.com/1935.html (Accessed July 5, 2010).
15 Peverill Squire. "Why the 1936 Literary Digest Poll Failed," The Public Opinion Quarterly 52, No. 1 (Spring 1988): 125 133, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2749114 (accessed May 31, 2010).
16 Found on http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/preferences.php, (Accessed May 31, 2010).
17 Found on http://millercenter.org/scripps/archive/speeches/detail/3303 (Accessed July 5, 2010).
18 Found on website http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/ (Accessed July 21, 2010).
19 Found on website http://www.archive.org/details/1960_kennedy-nixon_1 (Accessed July 5, 2010)).

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