1. Academic experts
  2. Research students
  3. Students
  4. Alumni
  5. Senior people at City
  6. Non-academic staff
  7. Honorary graduates

portrait of Dr Jo Littler

Dr Jo Littler

Reader in Culture & Creative Industries

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology

Contact Information


Visit Jo Littler

D609A, Rhind Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Dr Jo Littler is a Reader in the Department of Sociology at City and incoming director of the new Gender and Sexualities Research Centre. She completed a PhD in Culture and Communication at the University of Sussex in 2001 and has taught in higher education for over twenty years. Her research on culture, society and in/equality is intersectional and interdisciplinary and analyses meritocracy, neoliberal narratives, consumerism and cultural politics.

Her most recent book, Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility (Routledge 2018) is now freely available via open access. Previous books include Politics of Heritage: the legacies of 'race' (with Roshi Naidoo, 2005); Radical Consumption? Shopping for change in contemporary culture (2008); and Anti-consumerism and cultural studies (with Sam Binkley, 2011). She has edited and co-edited a wide range of journal issues, on subjects including intergenerational feminisms, transnational celebrity, environmentalism and consumerism. She is currently co-editing a journal issue on cultural populisms with Marie Moran, working on a collaborative, interdisciplinary manifesto on 'care' alongside Andreas Chatzidakis, Jamie Hakim, Catherine Rottenberg and Lynne Segal ('The Care Collective'), and producing a book of interviews with left feminist academics.

Dr Littler is an editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies, part of the editorial collective of Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, and is on the editorial advisory boards of Triple C, Communication, Culture and Critique, Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change, New Formations and Cultural Studies. She has been a co-investigator on the AHRC-funded Spectacular Environmentalisms Research Network, an external examiner for many BA and MA degrees, and has supervised and examined a wide range of PhDs in the UK, Germany and Australia.


Books (4)

  1. Littler, J. (2018). Against Meritocracy: culture, power and myths of mobility. Routledge.
  2. Binkley, S. and Littler, J. (2011). Cultural Studies and Anti-Consumerism. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-66936-8.
  3. Littler, J. (2009). Radical Consumption: Shopping for change in contemporary culture. Open University Press.
  4. Littler, J. (2005). The Politics of Heritage: The Legacies of 'Race'. Routledge.

Chapters (24)

  1. Sandoval, M. and Littler, J. (2019). Creative hubs: a co-operative space? In Gill, R., Pratt, A. and Virani, T. (Eds.), Creative Hubs in Question (pp. 155–168). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3-030-10652-2.
  2. Littler, J. and Williamson, M. (2018). Rich TV, Poor TV: Work, leisure and the construction of ‘deserved inequality’ in contemporary Britain. In Deery, J. and Press, A. (Eds.), Media and Class: TV, Film, and Digital Culture (pp. 146–160). UK: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-22979-2.
  3. Littler, J. (2017). More for the many, less for the few. In Perryman, M. (Ed.), The Corbyn Effect ISBN 978-1-912064-68-7.
  4. Littler, J. (2017). Desperate Success: Managing the mumpreneur. In Littler, J. (Ed.), Against Meritocracy Culture, power and myths of mobility Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-88954-5.
  5. Littler, J. (2017). Ideology. In Oullette, L. and Gray, J. (Eds.), Keywords for Media Studies (pp. 146–160). New York, USA: New York University Press. ISBN 978-1-4798-5961-0.
  6. Littler, J. (2017). Adrift or ashore? Desert Island Discs and celebrity culture. In Brown, J., Cook, N. and Cottrell, S. (Eds.), Defining the discographic self: Desert Island Discs in context Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-726617-5.
  7. Littler, J. (2016). ‘Consumer culture and cultural studies’. In Shaw, D., Chatzidakis, A. and Carrington, M. (Eds.), Ethics and Morality in Consumer Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-79023-0.
  8. Littler, J. (2016). On not being at CCCS. In Hilton, M. and Connell, K. (Eds.), Cultural Studies 50 years on Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-78348-393-8.
  9. Littler, J. (2016). Cultural studies and consumer culture. Ethics and Morality in Consumption: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (pp. 233–247). ISBN 978-1-138-79023-0.
  10. Littler, J. (2016). Meritocracy as plutocracy: The marketising of ‘equality’ under neoliberalism. Neoliberal Culture (pp. 73–100). ISBN 978-1-910448-57-1.
  11. Littler, J. (2014). ‘Celebrity’. The Routledge Companion to Global Popular Culture (pp. 119–127). New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-64147-0.
  12. Littler, J. (2012). Good Housekeeping: Green products as consumer activism. In Banet-Weiser, S. and Mukherji, R. (Eds.), Commodity Activism NYU Press.
  13. Littler, J. (2012). Consumerism. Oxford Bibliographies Online Oxford University Press.
  14. Littler, J. (2011). What’s wrong with ethical consumption? In Lewis, T. and Potter, E. (Eds.), Ethical Consumption: A Critical Introduction Routledge.
  15. Littler, J. and Gilbert, J. (2009). Beyond Gesture, Beyond Pragmatism. What is Radical Politics Today? (pp. 127–135). Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-23625-7.
  16. Littler, J. (2009). Gendering anti-consumerism: consumer whores and conservative consumption. In Soper, K., Thomas, L. and Ryle, M. (Eds.), The Politics and Pleasures of Consuming Differently Palgrave Macmillan.
  17. Littler, J. and Couldry, N. (2008). The work of work: Reality TV and the negotiation of neoliberal labour in The Apprentice’. In Austin, T. and de Jong, W. (Eds.), The Documentary Reader Open University Press.
  18. Littler, J. (2008). Heritage and ‘Race’. In Graham, B. (Ed.), Ashgate Research Companion to Heritage and Identity Ashgate.
  19. Littler, J. (2007). Celebrity CEOs and the cultural economy of tabloid intimacy. In Holmes, S. and Redmond, S. (Eds.), Stardom and Celebrity: A Reader Sage.
  20. Littler, J. (2006). Festering Britain”: The 1951 Festival of Britain, national identity and the representation of the Commonwealth. In Ramamurthy, A. and Faulkner, S. (Eds.), Visual Culture and Decolonisation In Britain Ashgate.
  21. Littler, J. (2005). British heritage and the legacies of ‘race'. In Naidoo, R. and Littler, J. (Eds.), The Politics of Heritage: the legacies of ‘race’ Routledge.
  22. Littler, J. (2004). ‘White past, multicultural present: heritage and national stories'. In Brocklehurst, H. and Phillips, R. (Eds.), History, Identity and the Question of Britain Palgrae.
  23. Littler, J. (2000). Creative Accounting: Consumer culture, the ‘creative economy’ and the cultural policies of New Labour’. In Gilbert, J. and Bewes, T. (Eds.), Cultural Capitalism: Politics after New Labour (pp. 203–222). Lawrence & Wishart. ISBN 978-0-85315-917-9.
  24. Littler, J. (1999). The Influence of Advertising. Encyclopedia of Contemporary British Culture Routlege.

Journal articles (35)

  1. Littler, J. (2019). Mothers behaving badly: chaotic hedonism and the crisis of neoliberal social reproduction. Cultural Studies pp. 1–22. doi:10.1080/09502386.2019.1633371.
  2. Segal, L. and Littler, J. (2018). Democracy in the making. Soundings, 69(69), pp. 113–128. doi:10.3898/soun:69.07.2018.
  3. Littler, J. (2018). Young and old meritocracy: from radical critique to neoliberal tool. Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy, 26(1).
  4. Brown, W. (2018). Where the fires are. Soundings, 68(68), pp. 14–25. doi:10.3898/136266218822845619.
  5. Hermes, J., Kooijman, J., Littler, J. and Wood, H. (2017). On the move: Twentieth anniversary editorial of the European Journal of Cultural Studies. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 20(6), pp. 595–605. doi:10.1177/1367549417733006.
  6. Goodman, M.K., Littler, J., Brockington, D. and Boykoff, M. (2016). Spectacular environmentalisms: media, knowledge and the framing of ecological politics. Environmental Communication, 10(6), pp. 677–688. doi:10.1080/17524032.2016.1219489.
  7. Littler, J. (2016). ‘Intangible roles: Theory, policy, practice and intangible cultural heritage’. Ethnologies, 36(1-2).
  8. Winch, A., Littler, J. and Keller, J. (2016). Why “intergenerational feminist media studies”? Feminist Media Studies, 16(4), pp. 557–572. doi:10.1080/14680777.2016.1193285.
  9. Littler, J. and Winch, A. (2016). Feminism and Childcare: A Roundtable with Sara de Benedictis, Gideon Burrows, Tracey Jensen, Jill Rutter and Victoria Showunmi. Studies in the Maternal, 8(1), pp. 2–2. doi:10.16995/sim.212.
  10. Littler, J. and Fraser, N. (2015). The fortunes of socialist feminism. Soundings, 58(58), pp. 21–33. doi:10.3898/136266215814379664.
  11. Littler, J. (2015). The new Victorians? Celebrity charity and the demise of the welfare state. Celebrity Studies, 6(4), pp. 471–485. doi:10.1080/19392397.2015.1087213.
  12. Littler, J., Power, N. and Precarious Worker's Brigade, (2014). 'Life after work’ roundtable with Nina Power and two members of the Precarious Worker’s Brigade, first published in Soundings 2014, reprinted by New Left Project 2014. Soundings, 56, pp. 67–80.
  13. Goodman, M.K. and Littler, J. (2013). Celebrity Ecologies: Introduction. Celebrity Studies, 4(3), pp. 269–275. doi:10.1080/19392397.2013.831623.
  14. Littler, J. and Rustin, S. (2013). Green Shoots?’ Interview with Natalie Bennett. Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, 53, p. 33. doi:10.3898/136266213806045692.
  15. Littler, J. (2013). Meritocracy as plutocracy: the marketising of ‘equality’ within neoliberalism. New Formations: a journal of culture/theory/politics, 80-81, pp. 52–72.
  16. Littler, J. (2013). The rise of the ‘yummy mummy’: popular conservatism and the neoliberal maternal in contemporary British culture. Communication, Culture and Critique, 6(2), pp. 227–243. doi:10.1111/cccr.12010.
  17. Littler, J. (2011). Consuming Authenticity. Novel: A Forum on Fiction, 44(2), pp. 302–304. doi:10.1215/00295132-1261013.
  18. Littler, J. and Couldry, N. (2011). Work, Power and Performance: Analysing the 'reality' game of The Apprentice. Cultural Sociology, 5(2), pp. 263–279. doi:10.1177/1749975510378191.
  19. Littler, J. (2010). Book Review: Matthew Hilton, Prosperity For All: Consumer Activism in an Era of Globalization. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-8014-7507-8 (pbk) $26.95, £16.95. Journal of Consumer Culture, 10(3), pp. 411–413. doi:10.1177/14695405100100030504.
  20. Cross, S. and Littler, J. (2010). CELEBRITY ANDSCHADENFREUDE. Cultural Studies, 24(3), pp. 395–417. doi:10.1080/09502381003750344.
  21. Littler, J. and Cross, S. (2010). Celebrity and Schadenfreude: The cultural economy of fame in
    Cultural Studies, 24(3), pp. 395–417.
  22. Bird, H., Boykoff, M., Goodman, M., Monbiot, G. and Littler, J. (2009). The media and climate change. Soundings, 43(43), pp. 47–64. doi:10.3898/136266209790424595.
  23. Littler, J., Monbiot, G., Boykoff, M., Goodman, M. and Bird, H. (2009). Mediating climate change: Roundtable. Soundings pp. 47–64.
  24. Littler, J. (2009). Image events and corporate ecologies: media stunts, guerrilla marketing and the problem of political interpretation. Enculturation.
  25. Littler, J. (2008). I feel your pain: Celebrity do-gooding, cosmopolitan caring and the globalised soul. Social Semiotics, 18(2), pp. 237–251.
  26. Littler, J. and Binkley, S. (2008). Cultural Studies and Anti-Consumerism: A Critical Encounter. Cultural Studies, 22(5), pp. 519–530.
  27. Littler, J. and Moor, L. (2008). Fourth worlds and neo-Fordism: American Apparel and the cultural economy of consumer anxiety. Cultural Studies, 22(5), pp. 700–723. doi:10.1080/09502380802245977.
  28. Haynes, J., Littler, J. and Greenwald, R. (2007). Documentary as political activism: An interview with Robert Greenwald. CINEASTE, 32(4), pp. 26–29.
  29. Littler, J. and Schor, J. (2006). Tackling turbo consumption’ An interview with Juliet Schor. Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, 34, p. 45.
  30. Littler, J. (2005). Beyond the Boycott: anti-consumerism, cultural change and the limits of reflexivity. Cultural Studies, 19(2), pp. 227–252.
  31. Littler, J., Soper, K. and Barnett, C. (2005). A republic of consumers: Jo Littler in discussion with Clive Barnett and Kate Soper. Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, 31, pp. 147–160.
  32. Littler, J. (2004). Making fame ordinary: intimacy, reflexivity and ‘keeping it real’. Mediactive, 2, pp. 8–25.
  33. Littler, J. (2004). Celebrity and “meritocracy”. Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, 26, pp. 118–130.
  34. Littler, J. Normcore plutocrats in gold elevators: reading the Trump Tower photographs. Cultural Politics.
  35. Gill, R.C., Ehrstein, Y. and Littler, J. The Affective Life of Neoliberalism: Constructing (Un)Reasonableness on Mumsnet. Neoliberalism in Context by Simon Dawes and Marc LeNormand.

Other Activities


  1. 50th Anniversary Conference. Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (2014).
    Description: Invited speaker

Keynote lectures/speeches (11)

  1. Keynote, CEPALS conference, ‘Critical work in critical times’. University of Manchester (2019).
  2. Keynote speaker, BSA education ‘Merit of Meritocracy? 60 years and counting’ event. BSA conference (2018).
  3. Celebrity Studies international conference. University of Amsterdam (2016). Keynote speaker
  4. Association for Cultural Studies Third Institute. University of the Free State, Bloemfontein South Africa (2015). Keynote speaker
  5. Missing the meritocratic dream. Popular Culture: Reading from Below, Skopje University, Macedonia (2015). Keynote lecture
  6. Popular Culture and World Politics post-conference symposium. The University of Lapland (2011). Keynote
  7. UCU National ‘Cradle to Grave’ conference, Manchester (2019) Keynote speaker.
  8. Nordic Celebrity Studies Network Conference, Roskilde University, Denmark (2018) Keynote.
  9. The end of neoliberalism? The World Transformed, Brighton (2018).
  10. University of Leicester ‘Wealth and status in the age of Trump’ (2017) Keynote.
  11. Consumer culture and the commons, ERSC/Glasgow University (2017), Keynote.

Radio programme

  1. The List. ABC RN Australia

    "The Yummy Mummy is a call to arms for new mothers to embrace themselves as sexual creatures. Or is it? Dr Jo Littler at City University in London describes a growing anxiety behind this cultural phenomena. She says the rise of the Yummy Mummy has lead to a boost for neo-conservative values and increased pressure for women to consume."