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Lakshmi Narayan

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Celebrity Activism: Who ultimately benefits, the celebrity or the cause?

I am doing a dissertation on this topic and would like people to give an opinion on what they think of the question. I study PR so anything that relates back to media, how the publics attitude is swayed and what happens if the celebrity and the cause don't align, and does the cause push the celeb profile or the other way around. Case studies that I've looked at are- Bob Geldof-Live Aid, Joanna Lumley-Gurkhas , Sean Penn-Haiti and Angelina Jolie- any campaign she has been affiliated with.


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    Apr 19 2013: I think it depends on how you define the the benefits that are on offer for the celebrity. If the benefits are of monetary type, then you may find it harder to convey that idea; celebrities, especially the ones you've listed, wouldn't seem to be in need of financial reward from such a campaign, whether directly or indirectly. Hence I think the discourse maybe more of a culture of idolatry; the self obssessed need from the celebrity to attain an even higher celebrity status. It could be interesting to reseach the psychology of such a subject and the impact it has on mass popular culture (as they clearly would have no effect on the situation they are temporarily representing) and then distinguish whether it has a knock on effect of pop culture morality, i.e. Angelina Jolie supported gun ownership, would her fans take the same stance, and if so, would this is put them in opposition against a different celebrity fan base who took the opposing view? I'm sure you could tie this in with a lot of political and religious rituals and hence making the essay a lot more aesthetically encompassing.
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      Apr 20 2013: Thank you for you suggestions on research. My main research headings are Celebrity Activism and Celanthropists (Celebrity/Philanthropists), Celebrity culture in modern society and Persuasion theories as they all relate back to my PR degree. Psychology comes into the persuasion heading so I have taken a look into that topic.

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