Consuming Kate : unpacking the feminine ideologies surrounding the celebrity princess brand

  • Ashleigh Logan

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This thesis brings together theory from ideological branding, celebrity brands, gender and identity. Located within Consumer Culture Theory (CCT), this thesis takes the position that consumers are 'interpretive agents' whose meaning-making activities help them make sense of the prevailing identity and lifestyle ideals characterised in the mass media. Kate Middleton's intriguing effect on consumer identity at the macro and micro level is explored.A netnographic approach is employed that incorporates in-depth face-to-face and Skype interviews with female fan bloggers, their followers and; their interactions on Facebook and Twitter. This project addresses three research objectives which explore how women consume a celebrity brand by unpacking the ways in which they identify and negotiate the feminine ideologies that surround the celebrity brand in their identity work. Past CCT studies have not considered the relationship between ideology and myth.This thesis advances current knowledge on the ways in which ideology is woven into the brand offering. Specifically, it demonstrates how ideology is expressed through the identity myths that surround the celebrity brand. These myths extend from one icon to the next and are circulated through consumer stories passed down from one generation to the next. Moreover, this study fulfils the gap in ideological branding in CCT by revealing new consumer identity strategies for negotiating mass-mediated class and gender ideological codes.The practices through which consumers negotiate and perform, deconstruct and, instruct and disseminate the classed, gendered cultural capital surrounding the celebrity brand are explained. Ultimately, this thesis carves out its contribution by demonstrating how the feminine ideologies that surround the celebrity brand become consumer recipes for performing a classed, gendered identity.
Date of Award1 Oct 2015
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) & University of Strathclyde
SupervisorKathleen Hamilton (Supervisor) & Paul Hewer (Supervisor)

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