What does celebrity activism accomplish?

Those concerned I’m not doing anything with my PhD will be pleased to know my works comprise a third of Al Jazeera’s Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian coverage. My latest, Does Celebrity Activism Matter?, takes on campaigns to raise “awareness” of atrocities:

Awareness is supposed to lead people to take action. But in American society, awareness is action. Entire careers are devised around making people aware of a person’s existence without that person doing anything besides existing. The Kardashian family is sustained by tabloids and reality TV, industries that thrived while nearly all other old media failed. Publicity is chastised as crass – publicity mongers, publicity whores – but it is arguably a more reliable investment than education or attempting to ascend an unsteady corporate ladder. Fame eliminates the barriers to success in a world of increasingly unequal opportunity. Having achieved fame, one can then establish why one merits it, which is why Kardashian business ventures derive from their celebrity, and did not proceed or produce it.

Read the full article here.

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