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also available: eBook Paperback
category: Political Science
published: Jun 2019
publisher: UBC Press

Rethinking the Spectacle

Guy Debord, Radical Democracy, and the Digital Age

by Devin Penner

tagged: history & theory, social theory, media studies

Spectacle is usually considered a superficial form of politics, which tries to distract and deceive a passive audience. It is difficult to see how this type of politics could be reconciled with the democratic requirement of active and informed agency. Rethinking the Spectacle re-examines the tension between spectacle and political agency using the ideas and practices of Guy Debord and the Situationist International as a point of departure. Drawing on radical democratic theory and examining case studies such as the 2011 Occupy movement, Devin Penner concludes that spectacle can and should be used to mobilize the public for egalitarian purposes.

About the Author

Devin Penner

Contributor Notes

Devin Penner is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Studies at Trent University. He is a coeditor of, and contributor to, Thinking Radical Democracy: The Return to Politics in Post-War France.

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