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Commodity Activism
Cultural Resistance in Neoliberal Times
Edited by Roopali Mukherjee
and Sarah Banet-Weiser
 
314 pages
15 illustrations
February, 2012
ISBN: 9780814764015
 
Introduction
Table of Contents
 
$26.00 Paper
also available in Cloth, eBook
click here for exam or desk copy
 
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Subjects: Media Studies, Cultural Studies, American Studies
Part of the  Critical Cultural Communication Series
 
Buying (RED) products—from Gap T-shirts to Apple—to fight AIDS. Drinking a “Caring Cup” of coffee at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to support fair trade. Driving a Toyota Prius to fight global warming. All these commonplace activities point to a central feature of contemporary culture: the most common way we participate in social activism is by buying something.

Roopali Mukherjee and Sarah Banet-Weiser have gathered an exemplary group of scholars to explore this new landscape through a series of case studies of “commodity activism.” Drawing from television, film, consumer activist campaigns, and cultures of celebrity and corporate patronage, the essays take up examples such as the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign, sex positive retail activism, ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover, and Angelina Jolie as multinational celebrity missionary.

Exploring the complexities embedded in contemporary political activism, Commodity Activism reveals the workings of power and resistance as well as citizenship and subjectivity in the neoliberal era. Refusing to simply position politics in opposition to consumerism, this collection teases out the relationships between material cultures and political subjectivities, arguing that activism may itself be transforming into a branded commodity.

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