Now that Americans are dividing up into militias and staking out a few acres of inviolable homeland, perhaps it's time to ask how the country came to be so deeply fragmented. Joseph Turow points to the ways that the techniques of "target marketing" by advertising agencies exploited and exacerbated existing fissures in U.S. society. Turow is too subtle a thinker to believe that advertising is responsible for the differences between people, but he makes a strong case that the way those differences have been used to distinguish different markets for different products has, simply by defining and presenting various subcultures, furthered those differences. This vicious cycle of targeting and producing target markets is analyzed both historically and politically to show the difficult effects of assuming that Americans are not united, except against each other.
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