Identity - whether personal or group - is a central issue in contemporary society, and advertising plays a significant role in shaping it. Offering us goods and services to supplement our basic selves, advertising suggests how our lives and our bodies can be altered, changed, and improved. Hardly a contemporary advertisement lacks something to say to us in this vein. Beyond individual identity, advertising also speaks about our collective identities - ethnicity, race, and other social markers. Over the course of American history, advertising's images have proffered ideas about how groups differ from one another, about which ones are more powerful and dominant, and how they function together to create the social order.
A Roundtable: Conversations about Race and Ethnicity was held in New York City on March 2, 2005 to discuss ethnicity in American advertising. Dr. Fath Ruffins of the Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution moderated the Roundtable and serves as Guest Editor of this issue of Advertising & Society Review.
I am pleased to announce that Professor Linda Scott of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been named Editor of Advertising & Society Review beginning July 1, 2005. Professor Scott, author of Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and of many scholarly articles about advertising, is an outstanding researcher and scholar in the field of advertising and society. I am pleased to be passing the baton to her. Beginning immediately, all submissions should be submitted to Professor Scott at email@example.com.
William M. O'Barr