Ribbon reign: 20 years of postmodern influence on a cultural phenomenon

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Title: Ribbon reign: 20 years of postmodern influence on a cultural phenomenon
Author: Spillane, Debra L.
Abstract: Diverse sociology theoretical constructs serve as the lens to examine the evolution of two popular symbols of US culture in the last 20 years : yellow ribbons displayed as decoration and awareness ribbons worn as personal accoutrement . This research was motivated by society's weakened state of "collective consciousness ," whereby shared beliefs and values have declined and some have completely disappeared , and sought to determine whether symbols will survive in a culture without commitment to the social . Invoking Christopher Lasch's Culture of Narcissism , Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation , David Riesman's theory of other -directedness from The Lonely Crowd , and Stjepan Mestrovic's Postemotional Society , this work examined the significance of public displays of ribbons (whether on animate or inanimate objects ) , theorized why certain diseases and social causes "earned" their awareness ribbons and others did not , and demonstrated that these ribbons have served as multivalent symbols to accommodate our culture in a postmodern world . These symbols have not maintained their unifying function and now serve at the whim of the individual participant or observer . Ultimately , the act of wearing or displaying awareness ribbons and yellow ribbons , like so many other symbols , has been severed from the idea and is a freefloating , simulacrum to be used in whatever mode our postmodern , postemotional society requires .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /489
Date: 2004-09-30

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Ribbon reign: 20 years of postmodern influence on a cultural phenomenon. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /489 .

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