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Quarantined ideas

The current pandemic is coming to redefine our lives in so many ways, both real and symbolic. It has already changed the way we travel, the way we work, the way we live. And it will continue to have far-reaching effects on all of us for the foreseeable future. In the face of the current re-organization of public and private life on an unprecedented scale, ephemera’s editorial collective has made the decision to cancel one issue and postpone forthcoming issues by three months.

Utopias of ethical economy: A response to Adam Arvidsson

When sociologist Adam Arvidsson writes about marketing and consumption we should pay attention. His 2005 essay ‘Brands: A critical perspective’ and his 2006 book Brands: Meaning and value in media culture have become seminal pieces in the field I call the critical cultural studies of marketing, which includes scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines such as critical management studies, sociology, history, marketing, media and cultural studies (see e.g. Zwick and Cayla, 2011).


Holding on to alternatives, i.e. always being on the look-out for the other, and by implication another, is rooted in hope and faith. When the hope for something else and better perishes, the alternative dies with it. Far from being (merely) the position of the assumed naïve and energetic teenager engaged in the adolescent’s revolution and emancipation from the parent generation, the search and production of alternative questions and problems is the stance of the believer. However, belief is necessarily accompanied by doubt. Without doubt belief turns into conviction and blindness.

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