In many respects, Ribbon Culture is an analysis of several apparently contradictory aspects of contemporary culture. The ribbon is, explains Moore, ‘both a kitsch fashion accessory, as well as an emblem that expresses empathy; it is a symbol that represents awareness, yet requires no knowledge of a cause; it appears to signal concern for others, but in fact prioritises self-expression’.
. . .
It is the commercialisation of causes, which both empties them of all content and transmits messages that are negative and misleading, that Moore sees as problematic. In seeking to understand why the individuals she interviewed wear the ribbons or wristbands that they do, Moore’s account stands out through her refusal to pander to the rhetoric of ribbon culture, which emphasises ‘awareness’, ‘caring’ and engagement with a cause. In reality, these positive rhetorical sentiments mask an anxious, self-obsessed, depoliticised culture.
"The relentless rise of the ribbons," by Jennie Bristow, a review of "Ribbon Culture" by Sarah Moore, spiked, March 2008
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