New Article: How Bell Canada Capitalises on the Millennial: Affective Labour, Intersectional Identity, and Mental Health

2/25/17 - sock knitting workshop, February 25, 2017 | © Courtesy of romanlily.
2/25/17 - sock knitting workshop, February 25, 2017 | © Courtesy of romanlily.

Meg Peters

Published Online: 2017-12-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0037.

Abstract

Since 2010, the large telecommunications company, Bell Canada, has invited Canadians to “break the stigma” around mental illness through a campaign called #BellLetsTalk. The campaign claims to donate millions to mental health initiatives, aiming to also “start a conversation” about mental health online. In large part, the Bell Let’s Talk campaign depends on the position of the millennial as a social media user with a real stake in conversations revolving around mental health. I highlight how the term “mental health” is often correlated to normative affect and behaviour, pointing to the importance of an intersectional understanding of mental health. Colonialism is also at play here, as the Bell campaign donates to Indigenous communities, but fails to address how psychiatric intervention is often a colonial process in itself. Through a feminist and critical disability studies lens, I critique Bell for its seemingly apolitical ad campaign, arguing that it bolsters normative narratives around psychological distress and its place in neoliberal corporations and colonial Canada.

Keywords : Bell Let’s Talk; millennials; mental health crisis; corporate social responsibility.


Featured Image Credits:  2/25/17 – sock knitting workshop, February 25, 2017 |  © Courtesy of romanlily.


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