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When the private becomes public: commodity activism, endorsement, and making meaning in a privatised world

Marshall, P. David 2016, When the private becomes public: commodity activism, endorsement, and making meaning in a privatised world. In Marshall, P. David, D'Cruz, Glenn, McDonald, Sharyn and Lee, Katja (ed), Contemporary publics: shifting boundaries in new media, technology and culture, Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, Eng., pp.229-245, doi: 10.1057/978-1-137-53324-1_15.

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Title When the private becomes public: commodity activism, endorsement, and making meaning in a privatised world
Author(s) Marshall, P. DavidORCID iD for Marshall, P. David orcid.org/0000-0002-0418-4447
Title of book Contemporary publics: shifting boundaries in new media, technology and culture
Editor(s) Marshall, P. DavidORCID iD for Marshall, P. David orcid.org/0000-0002-0418-4447
D'Cruz, GlennORCID iD for D'Cruz, Glenn orcid.org/0000-0002-6438-1725
McDonald, SharynORCID iD for McDonald, Sharyn orcid.org/0000-0002-6534-4088
Lee, Katja
Publication date 2016
Chapter number 15
Total chapters 18
Start page 229
End page 245
Total pages 16
Publisher Palgrave MacMillan
Place of Publication Basingstoke, Eng.
Keyword(s) public
publics
private
contemporary culture
celebrity
celebrity studies
commodity activism
consumer culture
neoliberalism
privatization
endorsement
Identity
persona
public identity
private identity
politics
advertising
Summary The divide between the public realm and the private realm is a both a moveable and permeable boundary. One of the reasons for this fluidity as to what constitutes these two realms is driven by different political postures. From a neoliberal position, the private—be that private industry, the individual self, the engines of the economy—is better able to produce the Benthamite characterisation of happiness for the greatest number. In contrast, from a socialist to social democratic position, an expanded public disbursement of commonwealth is seen to produce a more equitable, just, and ultimately happy society. Somewhere between these two extremes is a regulated marketplace which more or less describes the organisation of most Western polities.This paper investigates a relatively new form of public activism that, in a sense, emerges from a cultural condition of the ascendancy of the privatisation of politics and culture. Commodity activism, as it is now called by researchers, begins with a politics of the marketplace and turns it into a normative position or posture related to the public sphere. This kind of politics has emerged from consumer movements that have a long history of turning the private into the domain of the public through boycotts, forms of usually negative publicity, and an active engagement of appropriating the key identity of “privatisation,” which is that of the consumer, and re-politicising it into something akin to a form of active citizen. The paper is a study of this changing of the private into the public and how this process relies on the concept of endorsement—particularly high-profile celebrity figures who have gained their power as individuals in this privatised space and now use that form of power for other purposes—in order to gain attention and circulation in this now privatised public sphere.
ISBN 9781137533234
9781137533241
Language eng
DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-53324-1_15
Field of Research 200204 Cultural Theory
200101 Communication Studies
200104 Media Studies
200203 Consumption and Everyday Life
Socio Economic Objective 950204 The Media
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
ERA Research output type B Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2016, The Editors and Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30088017

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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