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Civic and Community Engagement

English and Cultural Studies Journal Articles

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Are They For Real? Activism And Ironic Identities, Amber Day Jan 2008

Are They For Real? Activism And Ironic Identities, Amber Day

English and Cultural Studies Journal Articles

A new breed of political activist has begun to appear on the streets and in the news. They are no longer trying to out-shout their opponents, but are agreeing with them instead, enthusiastically taking their adversary’s position to exaggerated extremes. It is a practice here termed “identity-nabbing,” in which participants pretend to be someone they are not, appearing in public as exaggerated caricatures of their opponents or ambiguously co-opting some of their power. This paper focuses on three groups in particular: The Billionaires for Bush, Reverend Billy, and the Yes Men. Each group stages elaborate, ironically humorous stunts as ...