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

The Political Economy of Celebrity Activism

1st Edition

Edited by Nathan Farrell


208 pages

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Hardback: 9781138675681
pub: 2018-11-30
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This edited collection brings together a range of research focusing on the political economy of celebrity activism. It seeks to advance current understandings of the complex relationships between celebrity activists, traditional political figures, non-profit organisations, the corporate sector, celebrity audiences and grassroots campaigners. It explores the economic nature of these relationships and how factors such as sponsorship, branding, corporate social responsibility and the marketisation of the non-profit sector are articulated through the celebrity activist.

This comprehensive volume provides an overall view of some of the key ways in which political economy intersects with popular culture in a variety of local, regional and global contexts through the celebrity activist. It also seeks to uncover how a political economic analysis of celebrity activism can illuminate the relationships between the celebrity activist and both for-profit and non-profit actors.

This book offers a coherent theoretical and empirical contribution to understandings of how celebrity activism relates to the emergence of forms of symbolic capital, the relationships these have with forms of economic capital, the tensions this creates, the questions of authenticity these tensions foster, and how celebrity activists’ symbolic capital can be used to obfuscate such tensions. It 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

Introduction Nathan Farrell

Part I: The Symbolic Capital of Celebrity Activism

1. Celebrities in Socially Engaged Campaigns: The Making of Solidarity Capital Bruno Campanella

2. Bring Back Our Girls: Social Media, Social Capital and Celebrity Susan Hopkins and Jenny Ostini

3. Funded by Philanthropy, Founded for Activism: Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and their Organisations' Political Endeavours Lukasz Swiatek

Part II: Political Economic Tensions and Questions of Authenticity

4. Authentic Activism: How Green is DiCaprio? Jackie Raphael

5. Promoting Peace and Coffee Pods: George Clooney, Nespresso Activist Joshua Gulam

6. Celebrity Activism in the Age of Occupy: Russell Brand and the Political Economy of Affirmationism Panos Kompatsiaris

7. Reflective Biographies in Celebrity Activism: Authenticity of Emotions in Fame Samita Nandy and

Hilary Wheaton

Part III: Celebrity and Neoliberal Forms of Activism: Obscuring the Tensions

8. Co-Opting the "Losers": Bob Geldof and Neoliberal Activism after the Financial Crisis Nathan Farrell

9. Neoliberal Feminism, Celebrities and Commodities Annika Bergman Rosamond and Catia Gregoratti

10. Keeping Privilege in Place: Celebrity Activism and the Robin Hood Foundation Ann Graefer and Jonathan Liemann

Conclusion Nathan Farrell

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.

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