Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘divining’

‘Mad Men’ & the Power Elites – LIZA FEATHERSTONE in conversation with Chris Hedges at RT

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Liza Featherstone in Divining Desire: Focus Groups & the Culture of Consultation shares with journalist Chris Hedges how advertising techniques developed by early Viennese intellectual elites were adapted and coopted by US elites to control politics, consumption and opinion.

Watch the full interview here.

LIZA FEATHERSTONE discusses the rise of the focus group at BackStory Radio

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

BackStory is a public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Over the course of the hour, they are joined by fellow historians, people in the news, and callers interested in exploring the roots of what’s going on today.

Watch the full interview here.

LIZA FEATHERSTONE on Hillary Clinton’s faux feminism and the rise of the focus group at Bloggingheads

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Watch the full interview here.

“The focus group’s distrust of ordinary people, sketched so well in Featherstone’s book, goes some way toward explaining polling’s crisis of 2016 ” – DIVINING DESIRE reviewed in Public Books

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

What can we know of our fellow citizens? The question is at root philosophical or epistemological. In the peculiar climate fostered by the Trump regime, however—not to mention the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal—it has also become a political one. Everything from the trustworthiness of social scientific indicators to the facticity of the news media to the techniques by which candidates reach voters is now subject to suspicion. The means by which we know “the public” is, today, a central public debate.

Read the full review here.

The Birth of the Focus Group – read an extract from DIVINING DESIRE in Quirk’s Marketing Research Review

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Read the full extract here.


Monday, April 2nd, 2018

The interview with Liza begins after 21:00 here.

“Don’t worry, we’re listening”: LIZA FEATHERSTONE discusses the historical socialist/corporatist tensions of the focus group with Jacobin

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Can you tell us a bit about how focus groups came to be?

At every turn, focus groups have been developed or further perfected to bridge a vast divide between a group of elites and the people they want to convince. We find this just as much with left-wing elites as with our current depraved ruling class.

In fact, the focus group was developed during Red Vienna, a period when the city, despite a very conservative national government, was run by socialists. The Viennese socialist leadership was very much a cultural elite — they were the intellectuals, the psychoanalysts. They had ideas about what socialism should be but were very out of touch with the working class. These elites held a lot of socially conservative views, like the working class shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage or drink, they should play team sports and listen to classical music. The working class wasn’t particularly interested in those ideas, so there was this disconnect.

Read the full interview at Jacobin.

“Consulting the Masses”: LIZA FEATHERSTONE discusses DIVINING DESIRE on KPFA

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Consumer capitalism and the focus group appear to go hand in hand. But Liza Featherstone argues that the focus group has radical origins and, in convoluted ways, points to the potential for collective input in an egalitarian society. She discusses the history of focus groups for consumer goods and electoral politics.

Listen to the full interview on KPFA.

“Focus groups make us feel our views matter – but no one with power cares what we think.” LIZA FEATHERSTONE in The Guardian

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Read here.

The New Inquiry calls DIVINING DESIRE “a fascinating history.”

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Read here.

Pacific Standard calls DIVINING DESIRE “fascinating . . . a lens on the past, present, and future of the American project.”

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Read here.

DIVINING DESIRE is anticipated for summer reading in The Irish Times

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Read here.

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