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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andrew Lindridge
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Using David Bowie as a human brand we analyse the symbolic meanings and trajectories of his performance personas of Bowie and his character - Ziggy Stardust. We address the research question of how are contradictions between celebrity and iconicity resolved in creating and managing a human brand. Using structuration theory, using data drawn from Bowie’s 50 year career, we identify three stages of human brand symbolic associations: forming, fixing and transitioning associations. These represent alternate trajectories that Bowie and Ziggy Stardust followed to become icons. In resolving his trajectories across these stages Bowie adapts and adopts commercial materials, business practices and new technologies to converge his symbolic associations into a coherent iconic human brand. This perspective challenges existing conceptualisations of celebrity and iconicity by framing them as inter-related processes, where celebrity associations are fixed in time, while iconic associations transition across time periods to reflect changing cultural values and concerns.
Author(s): Eager T, Lindridge AM
Editor(s): Belk R
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: Published
Book Title: Consumer Culture Theory
Print publication date: 31/10/2016
Acceptance date: 31/07/2016
Series Title: Research in Consumer Behavior
Place Published: Wakefield
Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item