The Commoditization of Hybridity in the 1990s U.S. Fashion Advertising: Who Is cK one?

  • Laura J. Kuo


How does a concept like hybridity travel within different economies—between the academy, activist arenas, and the media, for example—and what forms does it take on within these smart mutations? Is the adoption of a complex concept like hybridity by the media the simple appropri-ation of culture by capital? The usages, travels, and permutations of hybridity are more complex and elaborate than a blanket confiscation of its political value. After all, capital is culture (among other things) and hybridity is another sign within postmodern commodity systems. By engaging the structure of these systems we can begin to identify the ways in which hybridity operates within—and in the service of—the dom-inant logic of postmodern capitalist neoliberalism, and its massive contradictions. In this essay I investigate hybridity as a site of possi-ble transgressions of fixed identities, and as a potentially productive space that has been recolonized by market multiculturalism—a space that views everyone as mixed and thus elides structural differences and persistent hierarchies of race, class, gender, and sexuality.


Racial Difference Immigrant Woman Photographic Image Cultural Hybridity Contradictory Belief 
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© Neferti X. M. Tadiar and Angela Y. Davis 2005

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  • Laura J. Kuo

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