By Kathryn Lofton
This present day on Oprah, intoned the television announcer, and everywhere the USA audience tuned in to benefit, empathize, and have a good time. during this publication, Kathryn Lofton investigates the Oprah phenomenon and reveals in Winfrey's empire--Harpo Productions, O journal, and her new tv network--an uncanny mirrored image of faith in glossy society. Lofton exhibits that after Oprah beloved, wanted, or believed whatever, she provided her viewers not anything below non secular revolution, bolstered via practices that fuse purchaser habit, star ambition, and spiritual idiom. in brief, Oprah Winfrey is a media messiah for a mundane age. Lofton's special approach additionally situates the Oprah company culturally, illuminating how Winfrey displays and keeps old styles of yank religions.
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Extra resources for Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon
17 It may be tempting to toss Oprah Winfrey’s multimedia expansion into the pile of contemporary lifestyle outlets, including magazines like Real Simple, channels like the Food Network, and stores like Pottery Barn and Metropolitan. Those businesses share Winfrey’s knack for affiliating individual products with holistic lifestyle fantasies, but they do not offer the same spiritual injunction to consume. Spirit ambition Practicing Purchaseâ•‡â•‡ |â•‡â•‡ 27 suffuses every consumer practice. For example, if you have trouble finding ways to schedule your personal revolution, each issue of O magazine includes a calendar.
The “gild” suggested in part the Beaux Arts architectural idiom and the doily décor contained within the ornate homes of the nouveau riche. On the heels of the turn from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, economist Thorstein Veblen defined “conspicuous consumption” in Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) to describe the urge to demonstrate status through personal expenditure. ”45 Hidden within them was a class accomplishment, a moral suasion, and, in later years, a certain sort of citizenship.
Product placements drive fictional televised plots. 8 What separates Winfrey’s work is the soul-salving signification attached to her recommendations. Much of her persistence has been premised on the unaffected joy she takes in fusing her charisma with a product’s image and with connecting the message of her show to the slogan of a new brand. Her real-time economic consequences have produced a market result, as financial observers named an “Oprah Effect” to describe the market upswing resultant from any Winfrey endorsement.