Benefit Concerts, Constituencies of Compassion, and the Culture Industry

  • Joel R. PruceEmail author
Part of the Human Rights Interventions book series (HURIIN)


Celebrity charity events were crucial in raising awareness among the public of human rights issues, as well as central in generating resources for use in the campaigns. Amnesty International initiated this trend and passed the baton to famine relief campaigns, Band Aid, Live Aid, and USA for Africa and the megahit, “We Are the World.” Mass benefit concerts emerged out of economic necessity in the 1970s and blossomed into mainstays due to their effectiveness in the context of 1980s obsession with television, celebrities, and pop culture. However, these events relied on patterns in consumerism to drive engagement, framing human rights obligations as sufficiently fulfilled through entertainment. A tension persists between the political demands of human rights campaigns, the charitable dictates of humanitarianism, and the seductive aspects of mass consumption.


NGOsNon-governmental Organizations (NGOs) Human rightsHuman Rights Popular culturePopular Culture audienceAudience Cultural industryCultural Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of DaytonDaytonUSA

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