The average adult in the united States will look at the mirror and think that they have their life in control and do not feel the need to do anything about it. The average depressed adult may look and see a sad reflection, and upon seeing this they will seek out help, be it a doctor or a close friend. This is just an example of what the average American would do if they were sad, because in different cultures, people see depression differently because of various deflations of the condition itself.
Depression in the united States is becoming as common as the cold, but only cause that’s the way depression treatment is marketed. Marketing itself means the methods by which products are advertised and sold, and It Is not restricted for Just consumer use. In Jean Twinge’s essay “An Army of One: Me”, Twinge explores the increase in self-esteem and narcissism across the country, and also mentions the use of a new self-esteem education as a marketing technique for feeling good.
In addition, Ethan Waiter’s essay “The Mega-Marketing of Depression in Japan” discusses the pharmaceutical industry marketing strategies by better understanding how the Japanese perceive depression and adjusting their advertisements to better fit Japanese society. They were able to adjust their advertisements while also keeping the Japanese in mind, which commonly happens In American advertising, and therefore changes the way people think about certain issues.
Thinking the same way everyone else does is the exact way that people are trapped in cultural norms by marketing and the only way out of the trap is by re- evaluating the Image that mass marketing has created. Marketing is a very strange practice due to its double-edged, yet effective nature ND the way it shapes society is truly very interesting.
Mass marketing campaigns, from simple things Like selling a product to complex things Like advertising the Affordable Care Act, are all designed primarily to sell to consumers, but also has a side goal of implanting thoughts into peoples’ heads. According to Twinge, “… The number of psychology and education journal articles devoted to self-esteem doubled between the asses and asses” (Twinge 493). Most people would see Journal articles and academic research as simply educational, but they are simultaneously spreading he Idea of higher self-esteem through highly-regarded academics.
This phenomenon is not limited to just the united States, because Waters explains the pharmaceutical marketing strategy, saying “To have the best chance of shifting the Japanese publics perception about the meaning of depression, Silhouetting needed a deep and sophisticated understanding of how those beliefs had taken shape” (Waters 516). Marketing is not only the dedication to implant ideas into people’s heads, but also to change their minds on Important Issues that they’ve had for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years.
The Japanese do not see depression the way Americans do, the Japanese see it as a severe mental condition, but now pharmaceuticals are trying to understand the Japanese mindset and developing the term koori no gaze, which is “cold of the soul”. Marketing departments of big companies attempt to understand and use different cultures to twist the original more business. The biggest issue with mass marketing is that the average person’s decision- making skills are somewhat impaired by what they’ve been taught to believe, which is understandable since most people don’t like drastic changes. Twinge mentions a man named Jason, saying “… E went through some tough times and decided he needed to change things in his life. His new motto was ‘Do what’s best for Jason. I had to make me happy; I had to do what was best for myself in every situation” (Twinge 491). The way self-esteem has been taught is meant to put one’s own needs before others, which is okay, but only in moderation which today’s idea of self-esteem does not promote. Instead of putting everyone’s needs on a level playing field, self-esteem is more narcissistic and is based on Just thinking about oneself, and this is what impairs people’s decision-making skills.
For example, in a relationship, if one person feels they need to improve themselves, they’ll Just try to fix themselves on their own instead of seeking out help from others and this Just may not work, further deteriorating the relationship. Similarly in Waiter’s essay, “The Japanese, on the other hand, conceive of a self that is less individuated and more interconnected and dependent on social and environmental contexts” (Waters 522). This is contrary to Twinge’s argument because the Japanese focus on each other and their environment rather than themselves.
It is important to understand what depression means and it is rather complex because different cultures see depression differently. Waters states in his article, “A rural Chinese farmer might speak only of shoulder or stomach aches. A man in India might talk of semen loss or a sinking heart of feeling hot” (Waters 517). The point here is that depression has no clear universal definition, but everyone thinks of it differently, thus all societies are shaped by different definitions.
In the United States, depression is something that is somewhat common and can be alleviated through declined and regular visits to a doctor, and this mentality is exactly what is being mass marketed through advertisements. The same applies to Twinge’s example of self-esteem related television programs, saying “When self-esteem programs are used, Hewitt notes, children are ‘encouraged to believe that it is acceptable and desirable to be preoccupied with oneself [and] praise oneself” (Twinge 496).
This is clear proof that the people are not shaping today’s society and that mass marketing is the main cause for cultural tendencies to think certain ways. Different cultures have their own ideas regarding almost all topics, and normally hose have been shaped by hundreds to thousands of years of tradition, but today mass marketing is the pushing force behind changing ideals.
The idea of boosting self-esteem came about in the asses and through academic research and Journal publications, was spread throughout the country and today is the norm of society to feel good about oneself. These mass marketing campaigns cover a range of issues, and they tend to change old ideas in favor of money-making standards, such as the pharmaceutical companies in Japan and adjusting the Western definition of depression to fit Japanese society through advertisement.
This marketing, however, is not entirely out in the open and clear because as mentioned before, marketing happens in all forms, silently affecting the average person’s decision-making skills. Way, be it thinking too much about oneself or thinking too much about others. Marketing changes the way people see the world, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, but it is extremely important that people recognize which is which because if they don’t, then the average person will be trapped by the things they’ve been taught and will slowly lose sight of their own lives.