The (re)marketing of disability in pop: Ian Curtis and Joy Division

Martin James, Mitzi Waltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this article we examine the relatively new use of disability as a marketing device in pop music. Our analysis makes specific reference to how the career of Ian Curtis and Joy Division has become overshadowed by his epilepsy, depression and subsequent suicide, with comparison between early press and promotional materials from 1979–1980 and more recent materials created to promote reissues and films about Curtis. It also references other relevant individuals
from the pop music sphere and marketing campaigns created around them that ignore or highlight issues of disability. Using these examples, we examine the ways in which messages about disability are packaged and presented within pop marketing discourses and discuss the issue of ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ disability identities in pop, which have been created through a largely
marketing-driven discourse. Finally, we briefly explore how the deployment of ‘disabled’
identities impacts on the musicians so identified, as opposed to on the sales of products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-380
Number of pages13
JournalPopular Music
Volume28
Issue numberSpecial issue 03
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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Marketing
marketing
disability
pop music
Music
Motion Pictures
Suicide
epilepsy
discourse
Epilepsy
musician
Depression
suicide
sales
Equipment and Supplies
campaign
career
Joy Division
Pop Music
Discourse

Cite this

James, Martin ; Waltz, Mitzi. / The (re)marketing of disability in pop: Ian Curtis and Joy Division. In: Popular Music. 2008 ; Vol. 28, No. Special issue 03. pp. 367-380.
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James, M & Waltz, M 2008, 'The (re)marketing of disability in pop: Ian Curtis and Joy Division' Popular Music, vol. 28, no. Special issue 03, pp. 367-380.

The (re)marketing of disability in pop: Ian Curtis and Joy Division. / James, Martin; Waltz, Mitzi.

In: Popular Music, Vol. 28, No. Special issue 03, 2008, p. 367-380.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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