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Blowing Up the Brand

Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture


Melissa Aronczyk and Devon Powers

This edited volume seeks to redress the lack of scholarly work that takes promotion seriously as a form of social, cultural, political, and economic exchange. It unpacks the vernacular, the institutional structures, and the practices and performances that make up promotional culture in everyday life, offering diverse critical perspectives on how, as citizens, consumers, and users, we absorb, navigate, confront, and resist its influence. Contributions from both renowned scholars and emerging intellectuals make this book a timely and valuable contribution to the fields of media and communication studies, political science, cultural studies, sociology, and anthropology.
Contents: Melissa Aronczyk/Devon Powers: Introduction: Blowing Up the Brand – Celia Lury/Liz Moor: Brand Valuation and Topological Culture – John Corner: Promotion as Institutionalized Deception: Some Coordinates of Political Publicity – Jefferson Pooley: The Consuming Self: From Flappers to Facebook – Arlene Davila: A Nation of «Shop ‘til You Drop» Consumers? On the Overspent Puerto Rican Consumer and the Business of Shopping Malls – Miriam Greenberg: Branding, Crisis, and Utopia: Representing New York in the Age of Bloomberg – Hongmei Li: From Chengfen to Shenjia: Branding and Promotional Culture in China – Graham Knight: Activism, Branding, and the Promotional Public Sphere – Alison Hearn: «Through the Looking Glass»: The Promotional University 2.0 – Gabriele Cosentino/Waddick Doyle: Silvio Berlusconi, One Man Brand – Mary Ebeling: Marketing Chimeras: The Biovalue of Branded Medical Devices – Sarah Banet-Weiser/Marita Sturken: The Politics of Commerce: Shepard Fairey and the New Cultural Entrepreneurship – Devon Powers: Strange Powers: The Branded Sensorium and the Intrigue of Musical Sound – Jonathan Gray: Texts that Sell: The Culture in Promotional Culture.