Dr Jonathan Dean publishes new research on influencer culture and left politics

Dr Dean's research considers the intersection of influencer culture and contemporary left politics.

Dr Jonathan Dean has had his research article, ‘From solidarity to self-promotion? Neoliberalism and left politics in the age of the social media influencer’, published open access in the peer-reviewed journal Capital and Class.

Examining the intersections of influencer culture and contemporary left politics, the paper contains three core findings. 

First, it suggest that social media influencers and influencer activists have turned to various forms of left politics as a means of establishing a distinctive personal brand, and heightening their social media clout.

Second, these developments have been met with a backlash among some left commentators, wary of what they see as a privileging of self-promotion over solidarity.

Third, the paper examines the relationship between left politics and neoliberal digital culture more broadly. It suggests that the figure of the social media influencer should not be seen as strange or unusual but, rather, as a more extreme manifestation of the styles of self-branding and self-promotion that underpin contemporary digital culture more broadly.