The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture
NYU Press 2013
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in CommunicationsNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network August 27, 2013 Jeff Pooley
In Authentic: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture (NYU Press, 2013), Sarah Banet-Weiser scrutinizes the spread of brand culture into other spheres of social life that the market–at least in our imaginations–had left untouched: politics, religion, creativity, and the self. Banet-Weiser observes that the authenticity concept seems to carry more weight in a culture of selling: We have come to expect, and to some extent accept, that authenticity, like everything else, can be trademarked. Through rich case studies–Dove ad campaigns, Facebook self-performance, street art, green activism, and New Age spirituality among them–Authentic identifies the pervasive (and often troubling) ambivalence of branded living.