An Extraordinary Life: The Legacy of an Ambivalence

Blackman, Lisa. 1999. An Extraordinary Life: The Legacy of an Ambivalence. New Formations: A Journal of Culture, Theory, Politics, 36, pp. 111-124. ISSN 0950-2378 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

36: Diana and Democracy

What was it about the life and death of Princess Diana that made it resonate in such an extraordinary way across the boundaries of age, class, race, gender and politics that fracture contemporary social life? This special issue of New Formations looks at the cultural impact of Diana's death, and at the lessons it offers about the place of celebrity, loss and mourning, authority and legitimacy in popular consciousness, particularly when viewed against the political horizon of new Labour's 1997 electoral victory.

The contributors look at the complex circulation of emotion and the politics of affect; the shifts in the cultural meaning of public funerals; the implications of Diana's death for the position of the monarchy within the British constitution; the relationship between the new media publics and media events; and at the contradictory feminisation of modern politics. They argue for the need to move beyond the false alternatives of cynicism and eulogy in order to understand the wider significance of that remarkable phenomenon: 'the people's princess.'

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



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Date Deposited:

13 Oct 2015 09:23

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 13:42

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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