Sociology

Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Laura Connelly

The concluding chapter offers a manifesto for scholar-activism that distils some of the key principles from the book into a ten-point manifesto for scholar-activism. Departing from a traditional academic conclusion, the manifesto format points to the explicitly political nature of anti-racist scholar-activism. Representing broad guiding principles, this manifesto is not intended to be prescriptive but to offer a primer for future conversation and action.

in Anti-racist scholar-activism
Uneasy identifications
Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Laura Connelly

Chapter 1 considers ‘scholar-activist’ as a term, label, and identity. Through the accounts of participants, the chapter explores problems with the term, and with its constitutive elements (‘scholar’ and ‘activist’). Whilst recognising some value in scholar-activist identifications, the chapter argues that it is more useful to think of scholar-activism as a form of praxis – something that one does, rather than something that one is. Relatedly, the chapter considers the danger that scholar-activism, as a term, is susceptible to institutional co-optation, as well as overclaim by academics, both of which threaten to hollow out its radical potential.

in Anti-racist scholar-activism
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Stealing from the university
Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Laura Connelly

Chapter 3 introduces the concept of ‘reparative theft’ in order to consider how scholar-activists can utilise their positions within the university to service communities of resistance. The chapter builds upon Stefano Harney and Fred Moten’s seminal work on stealing from the university. Adopting a reparative justice frame, and recognising the vast wealth and resources of the university, the chapter argues that there is justice in stealing from the university.

in Anti-racist scholar-activism
Resistance within and against the university
Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Laura Connelly

Chapter 5 looks at the ways in which anti-racist scholar-activism can take place within the university, particularly through teaching and critical pedagogy. In this regard, the chapter introduces the concept of a classroom-to-activism pipeline. The chapter also considers wider acts of resistance in the university setting, particularly in relation to involvement with trade unionism. Throughout the chapter, consideration is also given to how the university, particularly through its neoliberal character, threatens to limit and curtail anti-racist scholar-activism.

in Anti-racist scholar-activism
Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Laura Connelly

Chapter 6 unpacks the concept of ‘constructive complicity’ in order to illustrate the complexities, contradictions, and complicities that arise from working within neoliberal-imperial-institutionally-racist universities. Arguing that reflexivity is of vital importance, the chapter suggests that anti-racist scholar-activism involves mitigating and manipulating complicities in service to communities of resistance and anti-racism.

in Anti-racist scholar-activism
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Accountability, usefulness, and accessibility
Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Laura Connelly

Chapter 2 considers the notion of ‘working in service’ to communities of resistance and to anti-racism. Tracing these ideas through the work of Ambalavaner Sivanandan and Patricia Hill Collins, among others, the chapter argues that ‘in service’ provides an anchoring, or radical reorientation, that can guide anti-racist scholar-activist praxis. Showing that working in service to anti-racism pushes against the dominant logics of the neoliberal-imperial-institutionally-racist university, the chapter considers how the notion of working in service impacts upon questions of accountability, usefulness, and the accessibility and reach of anti-racist scholar-activist work.

in Anti-racist scholar-activism
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Labour, capital and corporate power
Laura Clancy

This chapter outlines the conceptual framework of this book, which describes the monarchy as a corporation: the Firm. Drawing together a large and varied amount of material, it maps out the mechanics, technologies and industries involved in the reproduction of the Firm. It describes the actors involved in reproducing the Firm, and outlines the infrastructure of staff and key individuals to expose the labour undertaken ‘backstage’ in order to represent the ‘frontstage’ of monarchy. It also describes a web of capital relations: the exploitation of low-paid workers through ideologies of class subservience; the ‘revolving door’ between the Royal Household and corporations, the military, broadcasters and the civil service; the murky rules of royal financing; the secrecy of royal wealth; the networks of contacts; the relationships to post/colonialism; the exploitation of political relationships for profit; and the abuse of political privileges.

Alongside exposing these corporate relations, this chapter outlines my distinction between the institution of monarchy and our emotional investments in the royal family and its ‘individual’ members. I use ideas of ‘the Family Firm’ to consider how the contemporary monarchy’s performance of Victorian-inspired, middle-class, ‘family values’ is a strategic project to distance the Firm from capitalist vulgarity. If this book argues that the very invisibility of the Firm’s social and economic power is its power, this chapter aims to make these relations visible. In sum, it pulls back the stage curtain of monarchy to understand what the Firm is today.

in Running the Family Firm
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Kate Middleton, ‘middle-classness’ and family values
Laura Clancy

This chapter uses representations of Kate Middleton and the Cambridge family to consider how the Firm is reproduced through patriarchal, nuclear, conservative, heteronormative family values. Using the official Kensington Palace Instagram account as a key case study, this chapter argues that the Cambridges appeal particularly to (traditional) middle-class family values, drawing on representations of Kate’s supposed ‘middle-class’ background. This chapter suggests that the foregrounding of Kate’s ‘middle classness’ is a strategic move for the Firm to mask its hereditary privilege and distance itself from associations with greed, profligacy and moral ‘lack’, by appearing to open aristocratic cultures to the middle classes through a performance of accessibility and ‘ordinariness’. However, I argue that this openness is merely a gesture. In fact, representations of Kate and the Cambridges illustrate how the Firm is becoming even more remote through Kate’s indeterminate persona, staged photoshoots and complex relations between the Firm and the tabloid press.

The Cambridges’ performance of ‘family values’ is particularly notable during a period of authoritarian neoliberalism, rising anti-gender movements, dynastic wealth and patrimonial forms of capitalism, which facilitate more conservative gender roles. Whilst this book argues that the Firm is reproduced through media culture, this chapter extends this to consider how the Firm is also dependent upon the biological reproduction of an heir. Kate is a contemporary configuration of the long-standing centrality of nostalgic heteronormativity and traditional gender roles to the reproduction of monarchical power, and indeed heterosexual reproduction is key to its ‘frontstage’: this is the heteromonarchy.

in Running the Family Firm
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Masculinities, ‘philanthrocapitalism’ and the military-industrial complex
Laura Clancy

This chapter analyses representations of Prince Harry to consider the Firm’s relation to global military capital and ‘philanthrocapitalism’ (Littler, 2015). After returning from his second tour of duty with the Armed Forces in Afghanistan, in March 2014 Prince Harry launched the Invictus Games: an annual, international, multi-sport event featuring wounded armed services veterans. Invictus encourages veterans to ‘rise above’ injury, in an individualistic framing which configures the rehabilitation process as a solo sporting pursuit of ‘mind over body’. This self-determining ethos reflects not only the abdication of state responsibility for injured soldiers but also the neoliberalisation and financialisation of warfare in recent ‘corporate wars’ in the Middle East.

The chapter demonstrates how Invictus, largely anchored to representations of Harry’s philanthropic, affable and liberal persona (modelled on his mother, Princess Diana) condenses and disguises contradictions around recent global conflicts, ambiguities in ideas around state responsibility and accountability, the role of corporate capital in these wars, and ideologies of ‘royal work’. I argue that as a royal figure symbolic of national identity, representations of Harry hold the possibility of reorienting the corporate war through discourses of national identity, and redeeming the ‘good soldier’ from a ‘bad war’ in producing consent for the ‘War on Terror’. Furthermore, the redemptive transformation of Harry, from ‘playboy prince’ to ‘philanthropic prince’ via ‘soldier prince’, maps on to the development of the military-industrial complex, shifting contemporary masculinities, and the role of royal philanthropy and ideologies of royal ‘work’ in representing monarchy as socially responsible and productive.

in Running the Family Firm
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Why does monarchy matter?
Laura Clancy

The introduction sets out how the book approaches its study of monarchy as the Firm: a capitalist corporation oriented towards, and historically entrenched in, processes of capital accumulation, profit extraction and forms of exploitation. It opens with an account of the monarchy’s imbrication in the ‘Paradise Papers’ scandal in November 2017, a case study which raises questions and themes fundamental to this book: the interrelations between ‘old’ wealth and ‘new’ wealth’; how the monarchy is a key player in financial capitalism; and how the media culture of monarchy seeks to disguise and ‘produce consent for’ its wealth and power through representations of the royal family. The chapter demonstrates the urgency of studying monarchy today by outlining the contemporary context of widening global inequalities, the rising wealth and power of ‘the elites’ and the persistence of hereditary, aristocratic forms of wealth. It reflects on the similarities between the Firm and global corporations to make the case that the monarchy is a deeply political institution which ensures the social, political, cultural and economic order. Finally, the chapter introduces the frameworks and methodologies used in this book to interrogate monarchy: figurative methodology, and the work of British Cultural Studies, particularly Stuart Hall. This demonstrates how ideas of monarchy as a royal family are reproduced in media culture, the role of media culture in shaping practices of state and society, and how media culture is one ‘mechanism of consent’ for securing (royal) power.

in Running the Family Firm