Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Communication Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Sandra Gabriele


Communication and the arts; Social sciences



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


We find ourselves living in a consumer society that seeks and creates meaning in the consumption of commodities, so much so that consumers are turning to consumerism as a form of expressing their political and social statements and activities. Over the past decade, and prominently in its latter half, a new social development of consumerism has emerged: the pairing of commodities with charities, or what I am terming charitable consumption. Using Foucauldian discursive analysis, I examine (Product)RED as a case study of charitable consumption to uncover how the contradictory concepts of charity and consumption are reconciled and equated within the discourse. I also analyze the role that celebrity personas play in the proliferation of this new meaning of individual consumption and the equation of consumption to an act of charity, social activism and social justice.