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Making Sense Of Business And Community In Hollywood Films, 1928–2016

Per H. Hansen, Anne Magnussen

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We analyze how Hollywood films from 1928 to 2016 represented business within a broad historical and business context. We argue that the films actively contributed to audiences’ sensemaking processes and to how different groups perceived the role of business in society. We advance the idea that films provided cultural blueprints to be used by viewers for their own understanding, identification, and practices in relation to business in its historical context, particularly during periods of uncertainty, crisis, and instability when many films addressed deeper societal concerns about the role of business.