Questioning the Super-Rich

A Research Seminar on ‘Russian Elite Philanthropy and Philanthrocapitalism’. Elisabeth Schimpfössl followed by Cultural Politics special issue launch: ‘Questioning the Super-Rich’. Jennifer Smith Maguire and Paula Serafini

Tuesday 14 May 2019. 3:30-5:00pm, drinks reception to follow. At CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, University of Leicester,7 Salisbury Road, Leicester LE1 7QR

This two-part event focusses on cultures of elite wealth and critical examination of the philanthropy and practices the ‘super-rich’. It will first feature a presentation by Dr Elisabeth Schimpfössl on philanthrocapitalism in Russia:

This talk will explore philanthropic practices among Russia’s hyper-rich and ponders whether and to what extent philanthrocapitalist concepts are compatible with traditional Russian approaches. Some of the multimillionaires and billionaires interviewed by the speaker have incorporated philanthrocapitalist reasoning in their giving, while at the same time holding on to their self-perception as belonging to the Russian intelligentsia. The presentation will argue that they have worked out smart strategies to use philanthropy as a vehicle to legitimise their position in society and to secure that these positions will be occupied by their offspring no less.

The event will then mark the publication of ‘Questioning the Super-Rich’, a special issue of Cultural Politics edited by Jennifer Smith Maguire (Sheffield Hallam University) and Paula Serafini (University of Leicester). This special issue uses the super-rich as a lens for exploring the impact of wealth and power on class mentalities, identities, and cultures. Contributors from a range of disciplines including sociology, economic geography, and cultural studies examine topics such as the media representations and lived experiences of the super-rich, the spatial distribution and concentration of wealth, and the discourses of (de)legitimization surrounding wealth.

All welcome, no need to register.

Speaker biography

Elisabeth Schimpfössl is Lecturer in Sociology and Policy at Aston University. Her research focuses on the super-rich and elite philanthropy, primarily in and the UK, as well as questions around Russian media and self-censorship. She is author of Rich Russians: From Oligarchs to Bourgeoisie (Oxford University Press USA, 2018).

For more information on the special issue, see:

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Elisabeth Schimpfoessl

About Elisabeth Schimpfössl

My research focuses on elites, philanthropy and social inequality as well as questions around post-Socialist media and self-censorship. I did my PhD at the University of Manchester and taught at Liverpool University, Brunel and UCL before taking up my current post as Lecturer in Sociology and Policy at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. I live in London.