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Humanitarian Aid and the Impoverished Rhetoric of Celebrity Advocacy

Marouf A. Hasian, Jr.

Providing a comparative study on celebrity advocacy – from the work of Bono, George Clooney, Madonna, Greg Mortenson, and Kim Kardashian West – this book provides scholars and readers with a better understanding of some of the short-term and long-term impacts of various forms of celebrity activism.
Each chapter illustrates how the impoverished rhetoric of celebrities often privileges the voices of those in the Global North over the efforts of local NGOs who have been working for years at addressing the same humanitarian crises. Whether we are talking about the building of schools for young women in Afghanistan or the satellite surveillance of potential genocidal acts carried out in the Sudan, various forms of celebrity advocacy resonate with scholars and members of the public who want to be seen «doing something.»
The author argues that more often than not, celebrity advocacy enhances a celebrity's reputation – but hinders the efforts of those who ask us to pay attention to the historical, structural, and material causes of these humanitarian crises.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Hasian, Marouf Arif, author. Title: Humanitarian aid and the impoverished rhetoric of celebrity advocacy / Marouf A. Hasian, Jr. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2016. Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2016008100 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3403-6 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3402-9 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4539-1859-3 (e-book) Subjects: LCSH: Humanitarianism. | Celebrities. Arts and diplomacy. | Social influence. Classification: LCC BJ1475.3 .H37 2016 | DDC 361.7/408621—dc23 LC record available at Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2016 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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