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
2: Celebrity Activism and The Making of Solidarity Capital
3: Funded by Philanthropy, Founded for Activism: Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and their Organisations’ Political Endeavours
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
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
9: Authentic Activism: Challenges of an Environmental Celebrity
10: Celebrity Activism and Revolution: The Problem of Truth and the Limits of Performativity
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.