Helmbrecht and Love cover image

From Product Reviews to Political Commentary: Performances in Amazon.com Reviews

Brenda M. Helmbrecht, Meredith A. Love

Abstract


NOTE: We would like the abstract to mimic the conventions of an Amazon.com review, which includes both the language and the visual presentation.  Please see the abstract on page 1 of our manuscript.

Do you want products or politics? Or BOTH?!

By LoveHelm on March 15, 2015

If you’ve been searching for an article that combines rhetoric, politics, and shopping… this is it!  The authors address the rhetorical and political nature of Amazon.com product reviews.  More specifically, they focus on Amazon reviews circulating shortly after Mitt Romney talked about his “binders full of women” during the 2012 Presidential Campaign (who says that?!), and reviews written after Texas State Senator Wendy Davis filibustered for 11-hours in her sassy pink Mizuno running shoes in summer 2013 (I seriously want those shoes!).  The authors argue that we need to look for argumentation in unlikely spaces—like Amazon.com.  I mean, I buy all kinds of stuff on Amazon, but I don’t get all political while I am there….but apparently some people do.  Weird, right?  But for reals: the authors include examples of Amazon reviews that while pretty hilarious, actually deal with serious political issues.  As always, battery life could be better, but still worth checking out.


Keywords


Amazon; Product Reviews; Wendy Davis; Mitt Romney; Binders; Mizuno; Running Shoes; Women’s Rights; Activism; Social Media; Performance