Research Handbook on Luxury Branding
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Research Handbook on Luxury Branding

Edited by Felicitas Morhart, Keith Wilcox and Sandor Czellar

Unique and timely, this Research Handbook on Luxury Branding explores and takes stock of the current body of knowledge on luxury branding, as well as offering direction for future research and management in the field. Featuring contributions from an international team of top-level researchers, this Handbook offers analysis and discussion of the profound socioeconomic, psychological, technological and political changes that are affecting the luxury industry, and that will continue to shape its future.
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Chapter 16: #Luxe: influencers, selfies, and the marketizing of morality

Robert V. Kozinets


Today, luxury is energized by the global media presence of brands, the deep connective power of communication networks, and the pro-consumption ethos of neoliberal ideology. This potent mix of capitalist ideology, media power, and marketized moralization is the focus of this chapter. Prior empirical investigations of luxury in social media find a range of meanings and potential effects in the intermix of selfie taking and luxury brands. This short inductive netnography develops the idea of a “luxury gaze” in which social media audience members view luxury with anticipation of intense pleasure, ameliorating ethical concerns. Several social media images of luxury selfies are read closely. The luxury selfie gaze concretizes an ascendant self-branding movement. Transformed by the self-realizational and self-help discourse into a therapeutic and philanthropic activity, luxury consumption is ennobled. Social media creators’ use luxury selfies to effectively discharge the negative connotations of excess and luxury, sustaining the ideological system.

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