Date: 2016-04-10 10:43 pm (UTC)
winterkoninkje: shadowcrane (clean) (Default)
The idea of "virtue signalling" (in the literal sense, not the thinly-veiled insult sense) has been around for a very long time in sociology/anthropology/critical theory circles; albeit under different names. It is, of course, something with multiple layers of interpretation— exactly as you say.

The big problem with VS is, of course, when people do in fact use it as mere keywords to try to gain access to various communities. The whole issue with "nice guys" loudly proclaiming their feminist credentials being a prime example. Another being when companies economically support events for, e.g., women in computing just so they can say they're "making change" even though they're taking no steps to actually realize change in their own practices. The biggest danger with VS in my opinion isn't any one individual claiming virtue when they're not virtuous; rather, it's when so many people do it that it serves as systemic resistance against actual change by coopting the movements and terminologies of change.
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