This essay closely considers the political limits and possibilities of fashion-themed blogs. Specifically, the author examines the ways in which such blogs are everyday cultural sites that are framed by and can potentially reframe neoliberal relations of culture, technology, and capitalism organized around the belief in the successful democratization of consumer markets and media. Thanks to liberalization policies and technological innovations in the past twenty years or so, more people than ever before can access the resources and rights associated with these institutions. Such democratization, proponents argue, negates and thus frees us from the embodied particulars of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. This perspective is rooted in and reproduces neoliberal assumptions about bodily transcendence and freedom. Drawing on several Asian American and British Asian blogs, Pham analyzes the ways in which some fashion-themed blogs refuse neoliberal fictions of freedom and digital disembodiment by deploying a radical politics of sentimentality that reembodies fashion and labor histories by publicizing the material realities of race, gender, generation, sex, and class that are typically invisible in (but nonetheless constitutive of) the fantasies fashion tells.
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Minh-Ha T. Pham; Blog Ambition: Fashion, Feelings, and the Political Economy of the Digital Raced Body. Camera Obscura 1 May 2011; 26 (1 (76)): 1–37. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/02705346-2010-013
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