This excerpt makes a useful contribution to the issue of marketing and identity, that also applies to the world of theatre-making. Written in 2001, some of the issues already have been developed further; most notably on the identity side by the concept of “Superdiversity”, explored by Simon Fanshawe and Danny Sriskandarajah; and by Steven Vertovec, among others.
In particular, she cites a marketing agency’s view of identity politics:
“According to Rocking the Ages, a book produced in 1997 by leading U.S. consumer researchers Yankelovich Partners, “Diversity” was the “defining idea” for Gen-Xers, as opposed to “Individuality” for boomers and “Duty” for their parents.
‘Xers are starting out today with pluralistic attitudes that are the strongest we have ever measured. As we look towards the next twenty five years, it is clear that acceptance of alternative lifestyles will become even stronger and more widespread as Xers grow up and take over the reins of power, and become the dominant buying group in the consumer marketplace. … Diversity is the key fact of life for Xers, the core of the perspective they bring to the marketplace. Diversity in all of its forms — cultural, political, sexual, racial, social — is a hallmark of this generation [italics theirs] …'”
Since the 2008 financial crisis, all this is in play again – in Arabic nations as crowd-sourced protests; in Europe as resistance to statism; in USA as protests against cuts in public services in Wisconsin, Illinois and elsewhere.