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Is the activist economy good for social change? | The Stream

Al Jazeera, 15 Oct 2021
These days, social justice activism seems to be everywhere, from celebrity social media posts to corporate advertising. But is all of this mainstream exposure a good thing, and who really benefits from it?

Fighting for social change - or the appearance of it - sells, as many businesses recognise the need to take political stances on issues like Black Lives Matter or LGBTQ rights. However, some forms of activism can be described as performative or "woke-washing" - gestures that require little commitment and do more to improve a personal or corporate brand than in making substantive social change.

While a social justice statement to millions of followers can be positive in making progressive ideas mainstream, critics say shallow celebrity- or corporate-driven social activism can trivialise the actual work of activists and community organisers.

In this episode of The Stream, we'll look at the commodification of social justice activism and ask: Who is it really helping?

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