The Next Transformation: From Glam-Capitalism to Alter-Capitalism

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 12:00 PM
Room: 419
Distributed Paper
Dmitry IVANOV , Faculty of sociology, St Petersburg State University, Russia
Globalization has resulted not in the ‘world society’ but rather in networked enclaves of globality: New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Moscow, London etc. People in such enclaves experience globality through intensive flows of consumer goods, technologies, migrations, money, media-generated images (Appadurai). There capitalism has been transformed into glam-capitalism. Preconditions for glam-capitalism were created by virtualization of social structures. Hyper-reality of simulations producing copies without original (Baudrillard) is adequate model for economy of brands and networks as well as for politics of images and media.  

By the 2000s intensive commoditization of images has leaded to overbranding and triviality of the virtualization strategy that provokes shift of competitive advantages to hyper-virtuality of glamour. Being specific life style or aesthetic form, glamour becomes now newest rationality of capitalism. Glam-capitalism raises when producers at the hyper-competitive market place must glamour consumers and when goods must be aggressively beautiful to attracte targeted groups. Value creation process now is related more to trends, than to brands, not only in fashion industry and show business but also in high-tech and financial industries.

Alternative movements like ‘copy left’, ‘open source’, ‘creative commons’, and ‘pirates’ violating ‘intellectual’ property rights challenge regime of glam-capitalism and represent the authenticity revolt against hyper-virtuality of glamour not only in economy but also in politics and culture.

Alter-social movements reinforce functionality and competition against imagery and monopolization, and reaction of glam-capitalism to alter-social movements is initially oppression. But now glam-capitalism is absorbing cultural and social protest as corporate management adopts protesters' tactics. New management approach can be seen in practices of ‘stretching’ brands down, making ‘open source’ and ‘free access’ corporate business models, commercializing torrents, developing ‘guerrilla marketing’ etc. Creators of trends converging patterns of glam-capitalists and alter-social movements give birth to alter-capitalism as a ‘post-Baudrillard’ regime: capitalization on flow of originals without copies.