Making Development Marketable: The Politics of Image and Representation within Consumer Driven Schemes of Development Fundraising
This project examines a new and growing form of international development fundraising, which constructs and packages development as a product of consumption in order to achieve its goals of awareness and fundraising. These efforts involve the use of a new set of marketing tools, technologies, languages, and tactics to encourage the sale of the development cause. The commodification of development activities within fundraising efforts ultimately poses an important quandary in terms of the effects that such ventures have upon public engagement and reception of international development. As such, this thesis explores the implications of such efforts for social justice in terms of the ways in which people’s perceptions of their own involvement and the causes of which they are a part are shifted. In order to more closely analyze such activities, the organizations (RED) and Kiva were chosen to act as case studies of both corporate and non-for-profit endeavours.