Last week, we had our first-ever Mad World Book Club meeting, and it was great! As many of you know, we discussed Jean Kilbourne’s Can’t Buy My Love, and everyone had lots to say about gender, persuasion, advertising, and fried dill pickle chips (we met at Bernie’s Southern Bistro). However, as many of you also know, most of our readers don’t live close enough to meet us in person for pickle chips, which is why we’re hosting this virtual version of the Book Club.
Can’t Buy My Love is a book about advertising, but it’s also a book about addiction and the ways in which advertising and addiction are related. It’s a book about women, and men, and children, and the cultural climate in which all of us exist. The book covers a lot of ground, which means that there’s a lot to say about it in a cozy virtual Book Club setting. Let’s get to it!
Here are some questions to get the virtual Book Club ball rolling. Note: These questions are related to Can’t Buy My Love, but feel free to chime in if you’ve got something to say, even if you haven’t read the book (yet)!
• What, if anything, did you find yourself responding to most in the book? Did you have any “aha!” moments? What were they?
• What, if anything, did you dislike or disagree with?
• Did any of the ad campaigns that Kilbourne used as examples in the text strike a particular chord with you? Why?
• If an updated version of Can’t Buy My Love were to be released, what would you like to see included?
• Have you seen the effects of advertising on your personal life? In what ways?
• Which advertisements persuade you the most/least? How do you think this ties in to the connections Kilbourne makes between advertising and addiction?
• What have your experiences been with media literacy? Did Can’t Buy My Love inspire you to become a media literacy advocate in any way? How?
• Bitch has the very exciting opportunity to interview Ms. Kilbourne next week. (Yay!) Do you have any questions you’d like for us to ask her?
These are just starter questions, so please jump in with your own questions/comments about the book as well! And don’t forget: Our second Mad World Book Club meetings (both physical and virtual) are coming up next month! We’ll be discussing Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers by Alissa Quart!
This project was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program.