The Political Economy of Celebrity Activism: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Political Economy of Celebrity Activism

1st Edition

Edited by Nathan Farrell


168 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138675681
pub: 2019-08-07
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This edited collection brings together scholarly works of both a theoretical and empirical nature to critically analyse the forms and functions of the contemporary celebrity activist and to examine how these intersect with the political economic structures in which celebrity activists operate.

Collectively, the volume illuminates some of the inherent tensions between the ethos of solidarity and compassion that the celebrity activist works to generate on the one hand and the processes of corporate sponsorship and discourses of individualism upon which the celebrity often depends, on the other. By offering empirical case studies that situate instances of celebrity activism within specific political contexts, the collection highlights how celebrity activism intersects with some of the underlying structures of gender politics and political discourses such as neoliberalism. In addition, the volume discusses how the tensions between, for example, individualism and solidarity can raise important questions about the authenticity of individual celebrity activists and how individual celebrity activists work, with varying degrees of success, to obfuscate such tensions and obscure the potential contradictions of their work.

This book will be of great interest to students and academics within the fields of politics, international development, political communication, social movements, activism studies, and celebrity culture.

Table of Contents

1: Introduction: "Getting Busy with the Fizzy" – Johansson, SodaStream, and Oxfam: Exploring the Political Economics of Celebrity Activism

Nathan Farrell

2: Celebrity Activism and The Making of Solidarity Capital

Bruno Campanella

3: Funded by Philanthropy, Founded for Activism: Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and their Organisations’ Political Endeavours

Lukasz Swiatek

4: The Value-form of Persona: Celebrity Scandal, Activism, and Commodities

Hilary Wheaton and Samita Nandy

5: 'Bring Back Our Girls': Social Celebrity, Digital Activism, and New Femininity

Susan Hopkins and Eric Louw

6: Promoting Peace and Coffee Pods: George Clooney, Nespresso Activist

Joshua Gulam

7: All Under the Same Sky? Celebrity Philanthropy and the Transnational Market for Women’s Empowerment

Annika Bergman Rosamond and Catia Gregoratti

8: Co-Opting the ‘Losers’: Bob Geldof and Neoliberal Activism after the Financial Crisis

Nathan Farrell

9: Authentic Activism: Challenges of an Environmental Celebrity

Jackie Raphael

10: Celebrity Activism and Revolution: The Problem of Truth and the Limits of Performativity

Panos Kompatsiaris

About the Editor

Nathan Farrell is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at Bournemouth University, UK. His research interests include celebrity activism, corporate social responsibility, and popular culture. His work on celebrity activism has been published in a number of international journals.

About the Series

Popular Culture and World Politics

The Popular Culture World Politics (PCWP) book series is the forum for leading interdisciplinary research that explores the profound and diverse interconnections between popular culture and world politics. It aims to bring further innovation, rigor, and recognition to this emerging sub-field of international relations.

To these ends, the PCWP series is interested in various themes, from the juxtaposition of cultural artefacts that are increasingly global in scope and regional, local and domestic forms of production, distribution and consumption; to the confrontations between cultural life and global political, social, and economic forces; to the new or emergent forms of politics that result from the rescaling or internationalization of popular culture.

Similarly, the PCWP series wishes to provide a venue for work that explores the effects of new technologies and new media on established practices of representation and the making of political meaning. It encourages engagement with popular culture as a means for contesting powerful narratives of particular events and political settlements as well as explorations of the ways that popular culture informs mainstream political discourse. The PCWP series promotes investigation into how popular culture contributes to changing perceptions of time, space, scale, identity, and participation while establishing the outer limits of what is popularly understood as ‘political’ or ‘cultural’.

In addition to film, television, literature, and art, the PCWP series actively encourages research into diverse artefacts including sound, music, food cultures, gaming, design, architecture, programming, leisure, sport, fandom and celebrity. The series is fiercely pluralist in its approaches to the study of popular culture and world politics and is interested in the past, present, and future cultural dimensions of hegemony, resistance and power.

Learn more…

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