Promotional Culture and Resistance
- Eleftheria J. Lekakis - University of Sussex
"A crucial intervention to both critical studies of consumption and research into activism. It authoritatively explores the complex and multiplying links between branding and neoliberal culture, consumer practices and social justice."
– Professor Mehita Iqani, Stellenbosch University
"Eleftheria Lekakis reminds us that as consumers, we can do much more than just buy our way out of social or political problems."
– Professor Melissa Aronczyk, Rutgers University
Consumption and resistance are entwined. From buying fair-trade, to celebrity advocates for social causes, to subvertising and anti-consumerist grassroots movements, consumer activism is now a key part of our fight for social and environmental justice.
This book is a comprehensive exploration of the complexities and dilemmas of using the marketplace as an arena for politics. It goes beyond simply buying or boycotting to critically explore how individuals, collectives, corporations and governments do politics with and through consumption.
Impassioned and always accessible, Eleftheria Lekakis explores:
- The media and economic logics which privilege elite activists.
- The real opportunities to resist and redirect promotional culture.
- Consumer activism as collective and community-building.
- The politicisation of celebrity influencers.
- The centrality of digital media technology.
- A range of transnational case studies pushing the field beyond the Global North.
Consumer Activism: Promotional Culture and Resistance covers the full breadth of theory and practice you need to know. It is an essential resource for understanding, researching and engaging with the global phenomenon of consumer activism.
Dr Eleftheria Lekakis is senior lecturer in Media and Communications at the School of Media, Arts, and Humanities at the University of Sussex.
Consumers of the world, unite! Consumer Activism is both an excellent intellectual reference and a savvy guide for educators and students. Eleftheria Lekakis reminds us that as consumers, we can do much more than just buy our way out of social or political problems. Through creative and collective efforts, consumers can work to end unfair and inequitable market practices, and can promote concerted action on such major issues as climate change, racial justice or women’s rights. Rich with key concepts, contemporary themes, and provocative case studies, this book will foster necessary conversations about power and politics in consumer culture.
This book offers a crucial intervention to both critical studies of consumption and action research into activism. It authoritatively explores the complex and multiplying links between branding and neoliberal culture, consumer practices and social justice, and calls for an urgent renegotiation of ethics in response. Consumer Activism will be an indispensable resource for research and pedagogy in the urgent years ahead, as humanity reckons with the effects climate change, deepening inequality, and increasingly feverish consumption.
Consumer Activism discusses in an interesting way the complexities of and dilemmas involved in using the market as an arena for politics. Eleftheria Lekakis argues for putting more scholarly emphasis on the global South and considering more systematically the role of nationalism, race, ethnicity, gender, feminism, and environmentalism in this form of activism. Thought-provoking examples on these topics are included in the book. Importantly, the book focuses on the role of celebrity and corporate promotion, and even anti-consumerist activism. The term “consumer solutionism” is coined to emphasis the limitations of consumer activism as a central means of contemporary resistance today. This book adds additional perspectives to the study of political consumerism.
An interesting, well written, and thoughtful book that by posing particular emphasis on advertising and promotional communication addresses the complex question of why consumers, especially in wealthy nations, keep overconsuming by virtually ignoring the consequences on other people and our planet. Eleftheria Lekakis critically explores alternatives and opportunities for resistance by focusing on practices of consumer activism aimed at raising awareness and promoting more just and sustainable uses of the marketplace.
With a rich array of illustrative examples, this new book shines a light on consumer activism, and the myths that surround political resistance in promotional culture. In travelling this path, Eleftheria Lekakis draws on key thinkers in the field, and confronts us to ask: to what extent are consumers agents of change? And, has the very idea of ‘social change’ been harnessed and commodified by advertisers? This unflinching book provokes us to think about the ways social justice, ethics and diversity are embedded within the symbolic ambiguities of an immersive market-facing society. In doing so, it is a timely challenge to naïve or misplaced ideas of ‘digital solutionism’. Teachers and students alike will find this book a valuable resource that opens new research trajectories.
What is consumer activism? Does it contribute to ethical or sustainable consumption? What are the related actors and factors associated with this phenomena? Under which manifestations of injustice is it salient? This book adopts a consumer culture theory perspective to address comprehensively, critically and scientifically those important questions for our societies. The author, Eleftheria Lekakis, reviews and discusses systematically the phenomenon of consumer activism through its main contemporary mobilizations for nationalistic (racial/ ethnic), gender (feminist/queer) and environmental (green/ sustainable) causes. This book provides both a critical review and a concrete guideline for academics and practitioners.