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The British royal family has experienced a resurgence in public interest in recent years. During the same period, global inequalities have expanded, leaving huge chasms of wealth inequality between ‘the elites’ and ‘the rest’. Yet, the monarchy is mostly absent from conversations about contemporary inequalities, dismissed as an archaic and irrelevant institution. This is the only book to argue that we cannot talk about inequalities in Britain today without talking about the monarchy. Running the Family Firm is about the contemporary British monarchy (1953 to present). It argues that media representations (of, for example, royal ceremonies or royal babies) are the ‘frontstage’ of monarchy: this is what we usually see. Meanwhile, ‘backstage’, there are a host of political-economic infrastructures that reproduce the institution: this is what we don’t typically see. This book pulls back the stage curtain of monarchy and exposes what is usually hidden: how it looks versus how it makes its money and power. Drawing on case studies of key royal figures – the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle – the book argues that media representations of the royal family are carefully stage-managed to ‘produce consent’ for monarchy in the public imagination. That is, the corporate power of monarchy (the Firm) is disguised through media representations of the royal family (the Family Firm). In so doing, the book probes conventional understandings of monarchy, and offers a unique and radical answer to the question ‘why does monarchy matter?’
capitalism, then we need to examine
the phenomenon of ‘Ireland’ through the analytical framework of culturalpoliticaleconomy. This should throw light on globalisation tendencies
and counter-tendencies from a specific location and, likewise, show how
culture implicates itself daily in the cultural political processes that have
The most common reading of Ireland and its current state of development is as a country that has done well in the era of globalisation, much
as it had earlier done very badly in the era of imperialism. Has there
really been such
Jessop , B.
( 1998 ). The narrative of enterprise and the enterprise of narrative: place marketing and the entrepreneurial city . In T.
Hall and P.
Hubbard , eds, The Entrepreneurial City: Geographies of Politics, Regime and Representation. London : Wiley , 77–99 .
Jones , P.
( 2009 ). Putting architecture in its social place: a culturalpoliticaleconomy of architecture . Urban Studies , 46
commentary on social media. This multi-textual analysis illustrates the complexity of monarchy as a social form and cultural representational system. I use investigative research methods to map monarchy across various media, physical and embodied sites, to explore how the culturalpoliticaleconomy of monarchy works across varied textual spaces.
Running the Family Firm explores the relationships between the corporate power of the Firm and representations of the royal family using analysis of five key royal figures: the Queen
culturalpoliticaleconomy, which helps restrict the distribution of
cultural capital across the racial hierarchy.
Nevertheless, just because traditional middle-class culture is being used as
capital by and for the white middle class, this does not necessarily mean that
the Black middle class do not partake in these cultural pursuits; this is only one
course of action. Indeed, Black middle-class engagement with(/in) white spaces
often involves a deliberate calculation as to whether or not the racialised emotions caused by white spaces are worth experiencing for the sake
merely a sophisticated form of boosterism.
The comforting view of embedding is reinforced by the enthusiasm of
culturalpoliticaleconomy for networks. As Ash Amin and Jerzy Hausner
(1997, p. 13) note:
There is a creeping tendency in the socio-economics literature to privilege the
qualities of networks over those of markets and hierarchies. Relations within and
across networks are seen to be somehow more reciprocal and more egalitarian,
because they rely on interaction. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not
all networks are non-hierarchical, mutually beneficial
Nonetheless, Jessop does repeatedly draw on those elements of Hall's work he finds legitimate. This includes his role for the media in ‘populist ventriloquism’. Jessop, ‘Elective Affinity or Comprehensive Contradiction?’, 22. See also the discussion of ‘Semiotics for Political Economy’ in: N.L. Sum and B. Jessop, Towards a CulturalPoliticalEconomy: Putting Culture in Its Place in Political Economy (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2014).
of state regulation’,
in Djelic, M. and Sahlin-Andersson, K. (eds.) Transnational governance:
Institutional dynamics of regulation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
Jacquot, S. and Woll, C. (2004) Les usages de l’Europe: Acteurs et transformations
Européennes, Paris: L’Harmattan.
Jessop, B. and Oosterlynck, A. (2008) ‘Culturalpoliticaleconomy: On making the
cultural turn without falling into soft economic sociology’, GeoForum, vol. 39,
Jones, K. (2003) Education in Britain, Cambridge: Cambridge Polity
Bob Jessop’s analysis of what he calls ‘culturalpoliticaleconomy’).9 Even as an ideal type, the depiction of economics as rational, calculative, strategic and in short as a form of action divorced from the complexities
of desire, emotion, identity or subjectivity is a constitutive myth of modern
society. It is a myth which Fraser sometimes seems to accept, but it is a myth
This forces us to confront a very serious question. Whilst the original point of
Fraser’s intervention was to address the disarticulation of economic and symbolic