Saturday, May 28, 2016

Malala and the politics of global iconicity

 2016 May 21. doi: 10.1111/1468-4446.12195. [Epub ahead of print]

Malala and the politics of global iconicity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Political Science, Aarhus University.


The article presents a case analysis of Malala Yousafzai's transformation into a global injustice icon after she was shot in 2012 by the Pakistani Taliban for advocating for girls' right to education. The analysis focuses on the political aspects of this process and is divided into three parts. The first looks at factors that facilitated Malala's iconization as she was undergoing medical treatment and was unable to participate in her iconization. The second part starts when Malala enters the global public sphere and begins to actively contribute to the iconization process. The third part identifies de-iconizing resistance to Malala from Pakistani actors who see her iconization as a symbolic colonization in which Malala has become a vehicle of the West. Theoretically, the article is located within cultural sociology, but expands it in a political and global direction.

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