Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

The promotional regime of visibility: ambivalence and contradiction in strategies of dominance and resistance

Jimenez Martinez, Cesar ORCID: and Edwards, Lee 2023. The promotional regime of visibility: ambivalence and contradiction in strategies of dominance and resistance. Communication and the Public 8 (1) , pp. 14-28. 10.1177/20570473221146661

[thumbnail of 20570473221146661.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (391kB) | Preview


In this article, we explore the tensions and blurred boundaries between dominance and resistance in promotional contexts by critically examining the notion of ‘visibility’, a commonly used yet largely unproblematised concept within the field of promotion. More specifically, we argue that contemporary promotional industries sustain and perpetuate a post-panoptical ‘regime of visibility’ underpinned by three modalities: 1) visibility as recognition, which associates being watched with empowerment while downplaying it as surveillance; 2) visibility as transient, which stresses visibility as a scarce resource that requires continuous work; 3) and visibility as an end-goal, that is, as an end in itself rather than means to achieve something else. Acknowledging the existence of this regime opens up avenues for a productive analysis of the coexistence and mutual constitution of dominance and resistance within promotion in the digitalised communication environment, beyond debates about ‘authenticity’ or ‘woke washing’. We note that promotional industries structure visibility as a desirable and even inevitable requirement for both reinforcing and reconfiguring social arrangements. Consequently, they foster a mirage that celebrates the actions of individuals without actually producing meaningful change, while obscuring invisibility as an equally valid strategy of resistance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 2057-0473
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 11 November 2022
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 14:24

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics