Commodity Activism

Commodity Activism

Cultural Resistance in Neoliberal Times

Critical Cultural Communication

Edited by Roopali Mukherjee and Sarah Banet-Weiser

Published by: NYU Press

314 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780814764015
  • Published: February 2012


  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9780814764008
  • Published: February 2012



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