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UEL Research Conference: Session 6 – Performative Boundaries

Why Running Brands are Preaching to the Converted
Leo Watkins, (PhD Research Candidate) School of Health, Sport and Bioscience ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌

This talk reflects on two studies examining the psychological structure of, and response to, television commercials of three leading running shoe brands.  Findings from both studies reveal that the commercials are produced in a way that positively engages the masterful running consumer considerably more than the novice or non-running consumer. Download the full abstract

From Thomas a Becket to Amy Childs: The commodification of hero worship and the impact of reality TV on an Essex town
Helen Powell, School of Arts and Digital Industries‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌

Brentwood (a ‘burnt wood’), an Essex town within the London commuter belt, was founded by pilgrims as a site of worship for St Thomas a Becket, evidenced by a ruined chapel bearing his name at the heart of the shopping centre. Fuelled by the popularity of the reality TV show, The Only Way is Essex, now in its tenth series, today’s pilgrimages symbolise the advanced manifestation of Wernick’s (1991) ‘promotional culture’. The talk reflects on previous published research which explores the commodification of celebrity culture but also examines the impact of social media. Download the full abstract

R-Firth-profileSomatic Pedagogies: Critiquing and resisting the affective discourse of the neoliberal state from an embodied anarchist perspective
Rhiannon Firth, Cass School of Education and Communities‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌

This paper takes as its context widespread feelings of anxiety within neoliberal society caused by a combination of material and discursive factors including precarious access to work and resources. It is argued that the state uses ‘discourses of affect’ to produce compliant subjects able to deal with (and unable to desire beyond) neoliberal precarity and anxiety. Download the full abstract

Go to session 7 – Narrative

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