Plastic Subjects: Plasticity, Time, and the Bling Ring

New Political Science 44 (2):265-282 (2022)
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Abstract

This paper explores the events surrounding a string of robberies from the homes of young celebrities living in Los Angeles County by a group of teenagers referred to by the media as “The Bling Ring.” It argues that the group demonstrates the intersections of desire and materiality under the conditions of a culture driven by idolization of the celebrity, referring to the works of Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, and French collective Tiqqun. It further examines the events as a moment where subjects were able to escape the life-narratives imposed upon them by the State. Rather than adhering to the norms of regular adolescent life, reproduced and enforced through what Michael Shapiro identifies as “national-time,” members of the Bling Ring endeavored to create their own lives according to what I refer to as “celebrity-time,” revealing processes of becoming in the work of Gilles Deleuze, and plasticity in that of Catherine Malabou.

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Adam E. Foster
Dalhousie University

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