Edited by Felicitas Morhart, Keith Wilcox and Sandor Czellar
Chapter 16: #Luxe: influencers, selfies, and the marketizing of morality
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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