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Event Power
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Event Power
How Global Events Manage and Manipulate


March 2013 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
“Rojek’s argument is a psychological one, although his message is political: global events build on people’s needs to feel empowered and jointly engaged in the pursuit of a higher purpose; they allow a break from daily routines, provide an illusion of intimacy and social membership, and create a sense of self-validation and personal gratification. In short, participation in such events makes us feel good.

At the same time, the real effect of global events seems to be the maintenance of global inequality and social injustice, as well as huge profits for the organizations involved in planning, commercializing and securing these happenings. In sketching out this palliative function of global events from the perspective of people’s needs on the one hand, and unveiling their puppet masters backstage on the other, Rojek’s book presents a compelling account of the role of organized events in modern society."
- Organization Studies

Events dominate our screens, our lives, and increasingly global geopolitics. Analysis of events and their management has remained rooted in leisure and management studies - until now. This break-through book provides an introduction to event management, while also situating events in questions of power and social control.

Rojek powerfully argues that events are essential elements in corporate-state partnerships of 'invisible government' that have revived the romance of charity as to form illusory communities, while cloaking power imbalances and social inequalities. Events are moving politics from the old idea of 'the personal is political' to the new, more seductive notion that 'representation is resistance'. Wielding rich case studies from the World Cup and the Olympics to Live Aid, Burning Man and Mardi Gras, Rojek presents a dazzlingly original account of communication power, social ordering and control. It is essential reading in media & communication studies and across the social sciences.


Preface: The Goodwill Newsletter  
 
What Is Event Management?
 
What Are the Main Types of Event?
 
Why Is 'Moral Regulation' Relevant?
 
How Is Event Cognition Formulated?
 
How Are Global Events Organized?
 
What Do Cyclical Events Do?
 
Why Are We Drawn to Events?
 
What Is Event Consciousness?
 
What Do Single-Issue Events Do?
 
Why Are Events So Emotional?
 
What Is Event Appropriation?
 
Do Global Events Have a Future?

How do global events capture our imagination? Rojek gives us some compelling answers to questions we have yet to formulate. A fascinating and truly path-breaking study.
Frank Furedi
Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Kent


Event Power should be compulsory reading for all students studying public relations, public communication and event management. Rojek skilfully weaves together a compelling argument illustrated by many international cases and examples as he explores the way in which emotional and relational capital is generated by transcendent events designed as strategic communication. His critical account explores issues of performativity, impression management, authenticity, altruism, professionalisation, spirituality and power, in addition to addressing topics such as management gurus. An additional valuable feature of the book is the inclusion of three case-studies, of which two focus specifically on events managed by public relations consultancies. Overall, this is a terrific and persuasive account that blends a range of theoretical insights with empirical evidence.
Jacquie L'Etang
Professor of Public Relations and Applied Communication, Queen Margaret University, Scotland


Rojek’s argument is a psychological one, although his message is political: global events build on people’s needs to feel empowered and jointly engaged in the pursuit of a higher purpose; they allow a break from daily routines, provide an illusion of intimacy and social membership, and create a sense of self-validation and personal gratification. In short, participation in such events makes us feel good. At the same time, the real effect of global events seems to be the maintenance of global inequality and social injustice, as well as huge profits for the organizations involved in planning, commercializing and securing these happenings. In sketching out this palliative function of global events from the perspective of people’s needs on the one hand, and unveiling their puppet masters backstage on the other, Rojek’s book presents a compelling account of the role of organized events in modern society.

Organization Studies

Sample Materials & Chapters

The Goodwill Newsletter

Chapter 1


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