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Emily E. West

2008

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Full-Text Articles in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication

Mass Producing The Personal: The Greeting Card Industry’S Approach To Commercial Sentiment, Emily West Oct 2008

Mass Producing The Personal: The Greeting Card Industry’S Approach To Commercial Sentiment, Emily West

Emily E. West

The greeting card industry manages the challenge of mass-producing images and texts for use in interpersonal communication through both specific production techniques and narratives that “make sense” of this seemingly paradoxical task. The mass production of the personal is negotiated in the processes of writing sentiments and creating designs, as well as in identifying sending situations for cards. At Hallmark, the approach to creating emotional, relational communication for anonymous others is captured by the phrase “universal specificity,” which suggests that people’s emotions are essentially universal, and that the industry can meet the nation’s social expression needs by customizing ...