By Roopali Mukherjee, Sarah Banet-Weiser
Purchasing (RED) products—from hole T-shirts to Apple--to struggle AIDS. ingesting a “Caring Cup” of espresso on the espresso Bean & Tea Leaf to aid reasonable exchange. riding a Toyota Prius to struggle worldwide warming. some of these normal actions aspect to a significant characteristic of latest tradition: the commonest manner we perform social activism is through deciding to buy anything.
Roopali Mukherjee and Sarah Banet-Weiser have collected an exemplary team of students to discover this new panorama via a sequence of case experiences of “commodity activism.” Drawing from tv, movie, buyer activist campaigns, and cultures of big name and company patronage, the essays absorb examples resembling the Dove “Real good looks” crusade, intercourse confident retail activism, ABC’s severe domestic Makeover, and Angelina Jolie as multinational superstar missionary.
Exploring the complexities embedded in modern political activism, Commodity Activism unearths the workings of energy and resistance in addition to citizenship and subjectivity within the neoliberal period. Refusing to easily place politics against consumerism, this assortment teases out the relationships among fabric cultures and political subjectivities, arguing that activism could itself be growing a branded commodity.
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Additional info for Commodity Activism: Cultural Resistance in Neoliberal Times
What are some of the tensions between consumption behavior and political action within these contexts? The chapters do not arrive at the same set of answers for these questions, and indeed engage in provocative debate about what, and who, a “commodity activist” is: Is she a girl who participates in a Dove Soap–sponsored workshop on “self-esteem”? Should our conception of “commodity activist” include media conglomerates like ABC and its efforts to “build community”? How do we situate “green branding” within the context of commodity activism?
Additionally, part of the contemporary logic of branding involves a reconfigured consumer subject who moves effortlessly from traditional advertising (print or television, for example) to nontraditional media such as the Internet. 0), together with its service to corporations as well as in the crafting of “empowered” citizens, must be taken into account when examining contemporary neoliberal brand culture and the role of commodity activism within this context. Contemporary brand culture, supported by interactive, networked media technologies, and a heightened presence of consumer participation, represents a kind of compromise between the previous historical moment of mass consumption and that of niche marketing.
Andrew Wernick, Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression (London: Sage, 1991), 181. 32. For more on these processes, see Sarah Banet-Weiser’s essay in this volume. 33. Wernick, 1991, 192. 34. Alison Hearn, “Meat, Mask, Burden: Probing the Contours of the Branded ‘Self,’” Journal of Consumer Culture 8, no. 2 (2008): 197–217. 35. Hearn, 2008, 200. 36. Tom Peters, “The Brand Called You,” Fast Company 10 (1997): 83. 37. Jonathan Beller, The Cinematic Mode of Production: Attention Economy and Society of the Spectacle (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 2006), 1.
Commodity Activism: Cultural Resistance in Neoliberal Times by Roopali Mukherjee, Sarah Banet-Weiser