Brands, Property and Politics

Moor, Liz. 2004. Brands, Property and Politics. Soundings, 28, pp. 49-61. ISSN 1362-6620 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Brands and branding are one of the newer ways in which bridges are built between the worlds of production and consumption, and through which participation in a market society is encouraged and sustained. They are also, as the above example suggests, becoming part of a wider vocabulary, a way of describing a range of concerns about celebrity, reputation, memorability and value. Academic work on the subject is still in its infancy, but sociologists tend to see branding in terms of the new centrality of intellectual property rights to the production and the circulation of goods, while legal scholars have noted that the laws of trademark are becoming increasingly geared towards protecting the rights of producers at the expense of consumers.2 It is, however, in the area of popular and business literature that statements about branding have been most bold. The business sections of bookshops abound with texts describing ways of building and re-building brands, proposing ‘brand communities’ as new forms of social cohesion, and even providing advice on how to turn oneself into a brand. From a very different perspective, popular political texts such as Naomi Klein’s No Logo see branding as a distinctive contemporary version of the fetishism of commodities, concealing not just relations of production per se, but more specifically the striking disparities in wealth and privilege, and new forms of exploitation, produced by a global division of labour.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



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Date Deposited:

15 Oct 2010 12:37

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 14:46

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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