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Sexualised labour in digital culture: Instagram influencers, porn chic and the monetisation of attention

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... Similar studies, such as Abidin's ethnographic analysis of 'selfies' by influencers in Singapore (2016a), and Lewis's examination of political and ideological influencers on YouTube (Lewis 2020), further demonstrate the cultural significance, as well as the labour, often sexualised (Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler 2020), inherent within these practices. Together, the literature supports the selfbranded (Khamis, Ang, and Welling 2017), or presentational nature (Audrezet, De Kerviler, and Moulard 2020), of these practices, yet no study contextualises them in the achievement of 'influencer' status. ...
... First, it provides a framework that may help situate microcelebrity practices over the course of an influencer's career, or in certain stages of their microcelebrity process. For instance, certain stages may rely more on sexualised labour (Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler 2020), especially in social media fitness realms, where sexualisation is ripe (Wellman 2020) while others rely more on 'calibrated amateurism' (Abidin 2017). Or, perhaps influencers sequence or emphasise these specific practices based on where they are in their process, the level of their popularity, or social, political, or economic factors. ...
... While some may consider the position that influencers hold as helpful in creating communities that inform and empower, others may feel differently for a few reasons. First, aesthetically focused social media platforms such as Instagram (Abidin 2016a) can lead to significant accrual of credibility and/or popularity, especially when those aesthetics align with Western hegemonic ideals of masculinity and femininity (Andreasson and Johansson 2013a;2013b), and are perhaps even sexualised (Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler 2020). These findings contrast with the post-feminist empowerment claims found in aforementioned literature, thus supporting Rich (2019), who asserted about digital health technologies: 'while promising empowerment and democratisation through individual selfcare, these pedagogies fail to account for diversity among women, as different social, cultural, and political contexts, which come to limit opportunities to achieve good health' (p. ...
Article
The practice of microcelebrity in social media has become part of the internet’s mainstream, and has led to the rise of influencers – trusted tastemakers in an industry niche – who are playing increasingly larger cultural and economic roles. Scholars have examined this topic since Senft introduced it in 2001, shedding light on strategies and practices of pop- ular influencers, as well as the cultural milieu contributing to microceleb- rity practices. Missing from the literature, however, is an explanation of how these popular microcelebrities reached their social media influencer status. Thus, through phenomenological interviews with 24 participants in multiple areas of the fitness sector, this study presents a general seven- step process by which these individuals became microcelebrities and leveraged their followings. Three findings are particularly noteworthy. First, a process detailing how influencers reached their status contributes to our theoretical understanding of microcelebrity by offering contextual factors and general steps experienced by influencers. Second, although microcelebrity practices are characterised by intentional self- commodification, most influencers in this study began their careers acci- dentally. Third, social media may be altering the traditional career paths of fitness professionals, especially as it relates to educations and credentials, which can be substituted with body capital. Future research may utilise this process as a framework to investigate specific influencer strategies over time or at certain career stages, the meaning ascribed to influencers and microcelebrity practices, and influencer motivation related to indivi- dual context. Findings also encourage continued examination of social media’s effects on the fitness industry as a whole.
... As Elias et al. (2017, p. 5, emphasis in original) suggest 'neoliberalism makes us all aesthetic entrepreneurs' and positions aesthetic labor as essential self-work to achieve the ideal of fit, youthful and beautiful (Duffy & Hund, 2019), an aspect we flesh out further below. Relatedly, there has been a particular concern with younger women's laboring (Drenten et al., 2020;Duffy & Hund, 2019) and older women's maintenance of youthfulness (Benbow-Buitenhuis, 2014;Clarke, 2010) especially as working lives are chronologically extended (Pickard, 2018). ...
... Feminism is thus 'a consumer-oriented activity' (Rasmussen, 2017, p. 149) with 'emancipation l[ying] in the hands of the women themselves' (Lazar, 2011, p. 42). Moreover, aesthetic laboring, our daily decisions on how we manage our bodies is now openly displayed and scrutinized (Drenten et al., 2020). We are subject to ongoing (self) scrutiny, often technologically enabled and played out in contemporary media contexts (Banet-Weiser, 2017;Duffy & Hund, 2019). ...
... Our first theoretical contribution is to highlight the importance of adding a longer-term temporal perspective to the conceptualization of aesthetic laboring. While aesthetic laboring is much studied, work has highlighted age specific laboring, with more attention to younger than older women (Clarke, 2010;Drenten et al., 2020;Duffy & Hund, 2019;Elias et al., 2017). Moreover, research has focused on immediate and present experience (Warhurst & Nickson, 2020). ...
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We review how natural aging is constructed in contemporary media discourse by examining coverage of the 2017 Pirelli calendar. While highly digitized and provocative representations of youthfulness might be readily associated with this calendar, the 2017 edition featured actors aged 28–71, shot in black and white with limited makeup and apparently no digitization. As older women we reflexively examine this exposure of how women might age naturally; and discursively unpack tensions surrounding understandings of beauty and empowerment across media coverage. We suggest the Pirelli calendar is a complex media production, with impact that extends far beyond the product itself, spreading through the economic system and connecting tyres to art in the process. We progress understandings of aesthetic labor across the lifecourse, offer further development of the beauty and empowerment tensions embedded in the aesthetics of natural aging and explain how natural aging facilitates a multi‐layered process of binding.
... These fathers are known as "Instadads" (cf. Ramsden 2016;White 2018): parent influencers who labour in the attention economy (Goldhaber 1997) to monetize audience engagement through commercial promotions and endorsements (Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler 2018). They do so by producing narratives and imagery that celebrate the involved father (Dermott 2014), a figure more nurturing and domestic than a stereotypical male breadwinner (Coltrane 1996;Wall and Arnold 2007). ...
... We find that as influencers, the Instadads perform the expected relational, connective, and emotional labour to maintain their audiences (Baym 2015a;Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler 2018;Mardon, Molesworth, and Grigore 2018;O'Meara 2019). As institutional entrepreneurs (Scaraboto and Fischer 2013), they perform cultural work in producing commercial imagery of fatherhood for the brands that they partner with. ...
... Marketing research has identified influencers as entrepreneurs in the attention economy (cf. Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler 2018;Mardon, Molesworth, and Grigore 2018). ...
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This study looks at new developments in the commercial representation of fatherhood as exemplified by ‘Instadads’—a group of father influencers who use Instagram to document their family lives and foster a following that is attractive to brand sponsorship. With a netnography of 21 Instadad accounts and 10 in-depth interviews, we investigate how these influencers perform sharenting labour, which is the labour involved in commodifying and monetising the sharing of parental experiences. We posit that through this labour, father influencers contribute to early attempts at translating the new discursive territory of involved fatherhood into mainstream commercial representations. Sharenting labour has the potential to shift discourses on masculinities, lending more legitimacy to male parental caregiving activities.
... As numerous scholars note, postfeminism promotes normative ideals of beauty, physical fitness, and motherhood as "natural" components of the feminine enterprising self, reinforcing traditional gender roles and privileging white heterosexual middle-class femininity (Lewis, 2014;Sullivan & Delaney, 2017). It is therefore not surprising that the private sphere tasks such as homemaking are seen as something to be seamlessly integrated into women's professional projects, leading to a whole new subcategory of business ideas for women such as mamapreneurs and bloggers (Archer, 2019;Drenten, Gurrieri, & Tyler, 2020;Wilson & Yochim, 2015). ...
... "Excessive" forms of femininity may not be associated with a normative idea of a business person, yet they are nevertheless present -and increasingly successful -in the economic domain, as numerous studies, primarily 4 -ALEXANDERSSON AND KALONAITYTE in the field of media and cultural studies, but also entrepreneurship and organization, suggest (Abidin & Gwynne, 2017;Drenten et al., 2020;Duffy & Hund, 2015;Genz, 2014;Hopkins, 2018). For example, as Genz (2015) shows in her study of British model and media entrepreneur Katie Price, the current media economy and celebrity culture encourage commodification and branding of various forms of excessive, plastically enhanced, and exaggerated femininity. ...
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The purpose of this paper is to add to the broader field of feminist organization and entrepreneurship scholarship by introducing and theorizing girlhood as a distinct enterprising femininity. More specifically, we investigate how girlhood, now enjoying a prominent role in commercial culture, impacts the relationship between enterprising self and femininity due to girlhood's many non‐entrepreneurial features. We draw on the scholarship from the field of cultural studies to present the core politico‐aesthetical categories, used to express girlhood as a distinct form of femininity. Empirically, we present and analyze an illustrative case of two large women‐only professional networks that use girlhood and enterprising as their core message to their audiences. Our contributions render visible and provide a theoretical framework for studying girlhood as enterprising femininity, and add to the theorization of gendered and intersectional tensions and struggles between the market pressures to conform to the prevailing ideals of individualized success and the political ambition to challenge the status quo. More so, our theorization of girlhood as enterprising femininity allows us to raise question of what facets of femininity remain excluded – and thus in need of further theorization and critical feminist interventions – within the economic domain.
... More interdisciplinary studies have highlighted other facets of the influencer experience. Researchers have emphasized financial inequalities in the business (Mangan 2020;Terranova 2000) as well as inequities among gender (Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler 2020), race (Lawson 2021), and class (Iqani 2019). Research has also underscored how these issues are being compounded by the structure of platforms as well as the algorithms they use (Noble 2018). ...
... A more extensive study could uncover further nuances. Including influencers with other focus areas, older influencers, or influencers of different genders (Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler 2020), sexuality (Duguay 2019), and religion (Beta 2019) over a longer period might reveal more influencer roles than those described in the present study. ...
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Social media influencers (SMIs) have become an efficient advertising tool. However, their roles vis-à-vis the brands for which they advertise are changing. Far from being just simple promoters anymore they now take active part in both the product and communications development of firms. Yet in advertising research, a discussion of these new roles is absent. This article, therefore, seeks to categorize the roles influencers play in advertising collaborations by means of an empirical typology. In a netnographic study, we investigate the posts of 21 fashion influencers over a period of three years and find three main roles (spokesperson, cocreator, or co-owner) and eight subroles (for spokesperson: billboard, stylist, and ambassador; for cocreator: consultant and codesigner; for co-owner: sole proprietor, facilitator, and partner) that influencers take on in relation to brands. We contribute to theory on influencer marketing by conceptualizing influencer roles in advertising collaborations as well as categorizing these roles, thus allowing future researchers to use our typology as a conceptual foundation. Another contribution is the insight into how the dynamics of control over product and communication creation is evolving in influencer collaborations.
... Half yearly traffic figures from February 2021 show XVideos as the most visited pornography website on the internet, not only recording higher traffic than Pornhub but also higher than Wikipedia, Yahoo, Amazon and Netflix (Sim-ilarWeb, 2021). These websites, and their mass popularity, not only speak to the escalating scale and processes of pornographication (Drenten, Gurrieri, & Tyler, 2020;Tyler & Quek, 2016), but also the changing format and business model of the contemporary pornography industry. This evolving business model has been driven by rise of "tube sites". ...
... Common to online feminist research (Drenten et al., 2020) and studies investigating market logics (Scaraboto, 2015), the visual and textual analysis of the market materials was an iterative process involving open coding, axial coding, and theoretical coding (Saldaña, 2015). To ensure dependability, an audit trail approach was applied (Bazeley & Jackson, 2013): clearly documenting the analytic moves recommended for online research (Kozinets, 2010) including coding, noting, abstracting and comparing, checking and refinement, generalising, and theorising. ...
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With the pornography industry's shift to platforms and a business model that heavily relies on user-generated content, there is a need to better understand how this industry sells itself to women as self-producing “content creators”, especially considering the sexualised violence involved in marketing content to consumers. As one way to unpack some of the strategic underpinnings and market dynamics of this newer production model, we introduce an institutional logics approach to analyse materials from five pornography platform websites. We find the dominant integration of a theme of “care” is being sold to women; which both works to camouflage this market and its capitalist norms, while also functioning to obfuscate this market's harm. Our study is significant in mapping some of the more disguised, blurred and paradoxical practices of this user-generated market while also revealing the newer ways women's harm and inequality is being (re)produced in the selling of self-production.
... One of the most prevalent strategies employed by influencers to entice followers towards heightened forms of emotional engagement is sexualized labour [5]. Posting sexualized images in social media is a popular form of self-presentation for young adults [3,1,14,15], and it is outlined as the core tactic to attract followers for a particular type of influencers, which are categorized as "Performers" in [5]. ...
... One of the most prevalent strategies employed by influencers to entice followers towards heightened forms of emotional engagement is sexualized labour [5]. Posting sexualized images in social media is a popular form of self-presentation for young adults [3,1,14,15], and it is outlined as the core tactic to attract followers for a particular type of influencers, which are categorized as "Performers" in [5]. ...
Chapter
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During the last few years, there has been an upsurge of social media influencers who are part of the adult entertainment industry, referred to as Performers. To monetize their online presence, Performers often engage in practices which violate community guidelines of social media, such as selling subscriptions for accessing their private “premium” social media accounts, where they distribute adult content. In this paper, we collect and analyze data from FanCentro, an online marketplace where Performers can sell adult content and subscriptions to private accounts in platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Our work aims to shed light on the semi-illicit adult content market layered on the top of popular social media platforms and its offerings, as well as to profile the demographics, activity and content produced by Performers.
... One of the most prevalent strategies employed by influencers to entice followers towards heightened forms of emotional engagement is sexualized labour [5]. Posting sexualized images in social media is a popular form of self-presentation for young adults [3,1,14,15], and it is outlined as the core tactic to attract followers for a particular type of influencers, which are categorized as "Performers" in [5]. ...
... One of the most prevalent strategies employed by influencers to entice followers towards heightened forms of emotional engagement is sexualized labour [5]. Posting sexualized images in social media is a popular form of self-presentation for young adults [3,1,14,15], and it is outlined as the core tactic to attract followers for a particular type of influencers, which are categorized as "Performers" in [5]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the last few years, there has been an upsurge of social media influencers who are part of the adult entertainment industry, referred to as Performers. To monetize their online presence, Performers often engage in practices which violate community guidelines of social media, such as selling subscriptions for accessing their private "premium" social media accounts, where they distribute adult content. In this paper, we collect and analyze data from FanCentro, an online marketplace where Performers can sell adult content and subscriptions to private accounts in platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Our work aims to shed light on the semi-illicit adult content market layered on the top of popular social media platforms and its offerings, as well as to profile the demographics, activity and content produced by Performers.
... Previous research highlights the convivial nature of internet memes, which act as a type of digital leisure shared by internet insiders (Bauckhage, 2011). However, this form of leisure can also represent a lucrative opportunity for influencers and brands alike through monetizing the attention economy (Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler, 2020;Soha and McDowell, 2016). Most research to date explores how consumers create memes, separate from marketing intervention. ...
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This study explores brand-generated marketing memeification through social media. We examine 102 brand-sponsored hashtags on TikTok. Preliminary findings suggest three types of calls to action-impersonation, transformation, self-expression-which range on a continuum of consumer creativity, wherein consumers' creative performances are actively initiated, surveilled, and leveraged for commercial means.
... Lucrative sexiness is key to the making of online celebrity and influencer careers, just as it plays a central role in celebrity culture more broadlythe extraordinary success of Kim Kardashian being merely one example (Tiidenberg 2017;Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler 2020). Celebrity bodies are valuable for social media platforms in attracting followers and ramping up the traffic of data upon which their economies depend: consequently, the threshold for governing the bodily displays of celebrities is higher than the one concerning photographs by lay people. ...
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Shadowbanning is a light censorship technique used by social media platforms to limit the reach of potentially objectionable content without deleting it altogether. Such content does not go directly against community standards so that it, or the accounts in question, would be outright removed. Rather, these are borderline cases – often ones involving visual displays of nudity and sex. As the deplatforming of sex in social media has accelerated in the aftermath of the 2018 FOSTA/SESTA legislation, sex workers, strippers and pole dancers in particular have been affected by account deletions and/or shadowbanning, with platforms demoting, instead of promoting, their content. Examining the stakes involved in the shadowbanning of sex, we focus specifically on the double standards at play allowing for ‘sexy’ content posted by or featuring celebrities to thrive while marginalizing or weeding out posts by those affiliated with sex work.
... Accordingly, the effects of gender differences may be more complex and issues such as gender roles, stereotyping, power and sexuality should be examined in future research. In this respect, past research already examined how sexualized labour is enacted by social media influencers by conducting a content analysis of sexualized visual images and the textual content of those influencers on shoutout pages on Instagram (Drenten, Gurrieri, and Tyler 2020). Further, it is important to state that gender is non-binary. ...
Article
Women largely dominate the influencer business, and previous studies often either have focused on female social media influencers, or else matched the influencer’s gender with the participant’s gender in experimental research, as it is assumed that same-gender endorsements may increase persuasion. However, no empirical research is available yet that examines how the influencer’s gender affects the persuasiveness of sponsored content posted by this influencer. Therefore, this paper reports on the results from an experimental study (N = 241) testing whether a sponsored post leads to more engagement and greater brand attitude when endorsed by a male vs. a female influencer, and whether the participants’ gender moderates this effect. The results revealed no main effects of an influencer’s gender, however, an interaction effect was found with participants’ gender. More specific, and in line with social identity theory, results suggest that women perceive themselves to be more similar to the female compared to the male influencer, leading to stronger feelings of parasocial interaction, which in turn positively affect brand attitude and post engagement. For men, no differences were found between a male and female influencer on brand attitude nor post engagement through perceived similarity and parasocial interaction. These findings’ implications will be discussed further.
... How platforms conceptualise gender also has broader effects, as it determines a specific, socially embedded cultural conception that is able to shape, affect, and maintain gender identities (Bivens et al. 2016). Considering how online pornography affects gender exploration and performativity (Scarcelli 2015), the role of websites such as Pornhub is considerable in this regard, especially when contextualised in a digital pornographic environment that is becoming increasingly social (Tyson et al. 2015;Drenten et al. 2020;Wang 2021). Social media such as Instagram and Twitter are used to promote content on websites such as Pornhub and OnlyFans, which in turn allow for the creation of accounts and promote interaction among users. ...
Preprint
Online pornography, like other forms of cultural production, is increasingly subject to processes of platformization. While research has focused on the diffusion of online pornography and its broader implications, less attention has been paid to the algorithmic infrastructures through which platforms distribute and manage pornographic content, and how this might reiterate socially embedded views and perspectives. To fill this gap, we consider how Pornhub, currently the leading porn platform, establishes the gender identity of its users, and how this affects the structure of the platform and the distribution and recommendation of content within it. We collected data about 1.600 variations of Pornhub’s homepages, as well as data about 25.000 videos suggested to 10 accounts with differing self-declared gender identities. Through this data and an analysis of the signup procedure, we underline how Pornhub segments, distributes, and manages content based on the profiling of its users, increasingly following the logics of the platformization of content. Findings point to how Pornhub’s algorithmic suggestions and the structure of the platform concur to reiterate a heteronormative perspective on sexual desire, sexuality, and gender identities.
... Platforms like Instagram and Twitter enable constant exchanges with fans (Marwick and boyd, 2012). Fans are given behind-the-scenes access to celebrities; however, the perception of free access is muddied by brand partnerships, sponsorships, and promotional efforts through social media (Drenten et al., 2020). Marwick and boyd (2012) compare the exchanges between celebrities and fans on Twitter to early celebrity tabloid coverage, which a few decades ago was almost entirely controlled by the Hollywood studio system (DeCordova, 1990). ...
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Cameo is part of a growing set of new media platforms trending toward direct routes for monetizing fame. Cameo allows fans to book personalized shout-out videos and provides celebrities-celetoids and reality stars in particular-access to new modes of income, which became increasingly important amid the pandemic. This research explores how the direct monetization of the fan-celebrity relationship is reshaping the power dynamic of these parasocial relationships. Using digital ventriloquism as an analytical lens to study reality stars (e.g. Real Housewives) on Cameo, this study introduces the concept of paid puppeteering on digital platforms, defined as a form of digital ventriloquism in which a celebrity's public persona is manipulated and incentivized through financial means on a paid digital platform for the illusion of close parasocial connections with fans. Paid puppeteering reinforces celebrities as gig workers as Cameo mitigates fan access to celebrities-for a fee.
... The study used a qualitative approach involving a textual analysis of posts made by popular public accounts. In keeping with Drenten and colleagues' methodology in the qualitative analysis of social media content (e.g., Drenten and Gurrieri, 2020), the Instagram profiles in our study were selected by first identifying public accounts that members of a convenience sample of 16-to 22-year-olds followed. Snowball sampling was then employed by clicking on suggested profiles and mutual hashtags. ...
... Regardless of the influencer's area of expertise, we can apply the following definition: "Social media influencers work to gain the attention of followers through highly stylized representations of their everyday lives. The lifestyles they portray persuade others to act based on their recommendations, and the larger their following, the greater the monetization potential which is why influencers are so desirable to brands" (Drenten et al. 2020). ...
Research Proposal
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the fabrication of Instagram’s travel influencers’ social identity by focusing on the means at their disposal to socially construct a bond of trust with their audience. Indeed, since the elaboration of their messages’ persuasion seems to be centred around the notion of “trust”, it should be reminded that trust is not innate, but socially structured. Thus, we will wonder what main strategies are developed by Instagram’s travel influencers to build a trust-based relationship with their public and how those are socially constructed for this purpose.
... 2. Flirting and sexualization. Drenten et al. (2020) found that sexualization is common among female influencers on Instagram for marketing and widespread attention. Similarly, on TikTok hashtags #learnrussian and #learnchinese, female TikTokers often drew on flirting vocabulary, revealing clothes, or beautifying filters ("Can I kiss you" in #learnchinese or "I am yours" in #learnrussian). ...
Chapter
The chapter is published under Vazquez-Calvo, B., Zhang, L.-T., & Shafirova, L. (2022). Language Learning Hashtags on TikTok in Chinese, Italian, and Russian. In L. Klimanova (Ed.), Identity, Multilingualism and CALL: Responding to New Global Realities (pp. 104–134). Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1558/equinox.43411 You may request a preprint.
... These websites are private platforms for models, performers, and even physique photographers to upload their pictures and mobile-made videos. They can share with IG followers for a monthly fee (Drenten, Gurrieri & Tyler, 2020). ...
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AI-equipped sexbots are framed as 'perfect companions'. However, the question arises as to what kind of companionship the conception and consumption of these sexbots entails. This article explores the structural position of sexbots and the specific concepts of sexuality, intimacy and care connected to it. It argues that sexbots are providers of sexualised care work, a convergence that needs to be understood in the broader analysis of sexuality and care in post-industrial theories of sexuality. Through its promise of sexual fulfilment, emotional support and care, the sexbot enforces masculinities and does therefore not represent a posthumanist project (at the moment).
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This thesis takes a practice-led approach to co-creating sexy selfies of young women, using these as data for a compare-and-contrast approach that makes clear the discourses that are employed to judge women’s sexual self-representation. As women’s sexy selfie making practices have burgeoned, so too have popular and feminist discourses of concern about them. A growing body of important work in the field of selfies is beginning to highlight the gendered and sexist nature of these discourses and to demonstrate that much selfie critique belongs to a history of paternalistic discourse which polices and shames the female body. I build on this tradition by focusing on the aesthetic elements of these critiques, and their relationship with discourses of class, to demonstrate that many of these discourses of concern reinforce long-standing, classed ideals of feminine sexual presentation which marginalize some self-representations and legitimise others. The project brings together women who are amateur, sexy selfie takers with a professional photographer (myself) in a unique methodological frame where participants are especially prominent in the creation of data. It privileges the co-creation of new photographs of the participants, who are each asked to engage with me as if they have commissioned a professional photoshoot. This forms the basis for a method of analysis where the texts and practices of professional photographs of young women are compared with the texts and practices of participants’ own amateur photographic self-representations. The intention is to reveal new information about how dominant popular and feminist discourses are typically applied to each set of images. I argue that the aesthetic languages of each provides unique insight into jurisdictions of power which privilege professional, refined imagery over everyday, amateur imagery. Mainstream feminist readings of amateur sexy aesthetics contribute to the cultivation and maintenance of hierarchies within visual culture which, critically, create class distinctions and marginalise the self-representational experiences of women who do not portray the codes of middle-class respectability, nor the aesthetics of formal art. The project’s findings offer new knowledge into the ways in which young women’s sexuality and presentations of femininity are culturally affirmed or resisted through class distinctions founded on ‘taste’ and which conflate certain forms of women’s sexual expression with moral paucity. I argue further that women who make sexy selfies often find their aesthetic choices to be a positive resistance to normative femininities; an opportunity to be in community with like-minded people; a place through which to develop confidence; and a means through which to be seen.
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Commercial platforms are being increasingly used in classrooms as teaching and learning tools. Beyond shifts in practice to accommodate this, the teacher becomes a tool of the platform – generating and collecting data for commercial entities. It is time to move from commercial platforms working through teachers to influence education, towards working with teachers in the ethical use of educational data. The purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, we draw on semi-structured interviews to present an exploratory typology of teacher influencer behaviour. Secondly, we argue that there is potential for teacher influencers to act as advocates. We introduce the conceptual notion of an ‘educational data advocate’. We call for Teacher Influencers to be recognised as a source of expertise to understand the implications of the use of data-driven educational technologies. By doing so, a new pedagogical economy that promotes ethics and rights alongside educational and commercial outcomes may be generated.
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Using an experimental methodology, the present study assessed college men’s perceptions of a female peer who presented herself on Facebook in either a sexualized or nonsexualized manner. One hundred and seventeen college men viewed a Facebook profile with either a sexualized profile photo or a nonsexualized profile photo of a young woman and then evaluated the profile owner. They also reported on their dating attitudes. Results indicated that the sexualized profile owner was considered less physically attractive, less socially appealing, and less competent to complete tasks. Interest in dating and casual sex with the profile owner as well as general dating attitudes were largely not impacted by the type of profile photo. Findings suggest that using a sexualized profile photo on Facebook comes with some relational costs for young women. Strategies for educating young people about new media use and sexualization are discussed.
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"Il y a eu une telle fertilisation réciproque des idées de la sémiotique de Saussure, centrée sur le code et le langage, et de la sémiotique inspirée par Peirce, qui est pragmatique et interprétative, qu'il est difficile de trouver aujourd'hui un sémioticien qui ne croit pas à la nécessité de développer une socio-sémiotique, interprétative et pragmatique ». S'il fallait donner l'illustration de cette conception ouverte des avancées en sémiotique, l'ouvrage de Gunther Kress et Théo van Leeuwen : Reading Images - The Grammar of Visual Design, en serait la meilleure preuve.
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Journalists, child advocacy organizations, parents and psychologists have argued that the sexualization of girls is a broad and increasing problem and is harmful to girls.The APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls was formed in response to these expressions of public concern.
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An illuminating investigation into a class of enterprising women aspiring to “make it” in the social media economy but often finding only unpaid work Profound transformations in our digital society have brought many enterprising women to social media platforms—from blogs to YouTube to Instagram—in hopes of channeling their talents into fulfilling careers. In this eye-opening book, Brooke Erin Duffy draws much-needed attention to the gap between the handful who find lucrative careers and the rest, whose “passion projects” amount to free work for corporate brands. Drawing on interviews and fieldwork, Duffy offers fascinating insights into the work and lives of fashion bloggers, beauty vloggers, and designers. She connects the activities of these women to larger shifts in unpaid and gendered labor, offering a lens through which to understand, anticipate, and critique broader transformations in the creative economy. At a moment when social media offer the rousing assurance that anyone can “make it”–and stand out among freelancers, temps, and gig workers—Duffy asks us all to consider the stakes of not getting paid to do what you love.
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Emotional labor is the display of expected emotions by service agents during service encounters. It is performed through surface acting, deep acting, or the expression of genuine emotion. Emotional labor may facilitate task effectiveness and self-expression, but it also may prime customer expectations that cannot be met and may trigger emotive dissonance and self-alienation. However, following social identity theory, we argue that some effects of emotional labor are moderated by one's social and personal identities and that emotional labor stimulates pressures for the person to identify with the service role. Research implications for the micro, meso, and macro levels of organizations are discussed.
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In February 2010 The UK Home Office released a high-profile report, ‘The Sexualisation of Young People’. The UK report came rather late in the international context, following on from earlier reports, including the American Psychological Association Taskforce report on the sexualization of girls (APA, 2007), and the Australian government-led research on the sexualization of children, which generated widespread debate over ‘corporate paedophilia’ (Rush and La Nauze, 2006).
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The mainstreaming of pornography, often referred to as pornographication, pornification, or porn-chic, has become a topic of considerable academic and popular interest. In the last 15 years, an expanding academic literature has documented and begun to analyze the increasing consumption and normalization of pornography as well as pornographic imagery. More recently, there has also been a growing concern among policymakers and commentators in the mainstream media about trends labeled “sexualization” and, in particular, the potential consequences of these trends for children. This article begins by sketching out the academic origins of “pornographication” and related terms before considering the different ways that prominent authors have conceptualized them. Recent literature on sexualization is then outlined, with a focus on understanding this in the context of discussions around pornographication. Using a number of examples from key academic texts, and from prominent print media outlets in Australia, we argue that there is a lack of conceptual clarity about pornographication and that pornographication is often conflated with sexualization. We suggest that the lack of clarity in existing literature creates two key issues for feminist analysis: (1) it obscures the role of the pornography industry in the processes of pornographication and (2) it deflects discussion away from the potential harms of the normalization of pornography and pornographic imagery for adult women. It is, therefore, important to clarify and separate the terminology of pornographication and sexualization in order to further critical feminist analyses of these cultural trends.
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Taking seriously the global trend of selfies becoming marketable and entangled in ecologies of commerce, this article looks at Influencers who have emerged as (semi-)professional selfie-producers and for whom taking selfies is a purposively commercial, thoughtful, and subversive endeavor. Based on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork and grounded theory analysis, I examine Influencers’ engagements with selfies on Instagram and their appropriations of selfies as salable objects, as tacit labor, and as an expression of contrived authenticity and reflexivity. Through these practices, Influencers achieve “subversive frivolity,” which I define as the under-visibilized and under-estimated generative power of an object or practice arising from its (populist) discursive framing as marginal, inconsequential, and unproductive.
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There is a new generation of emoticons, called emojis, increasingly used in mobile communications and social media. In the last two years, over ten billion of emojis were used on Twitter. Emojis are Unicode graphic symbols, used as a shorthand to express concepts and ideas. In contrast to a small number of well-known emoticons which carry clear emotional contents, there are hundreds of emojis. But what is their emotional contents? We provide the first emoji sentiment lexicon, called Emoji Sentiment Ranking, and draw a sentiment map of the 751 most frequently used emojis. The sentiment of emojis is computed from the sentiment of tweets in which they occur. We have engaged 83 human annotators to label over 1.6 million tweets in 13 European languages by the sentiment polarity (negative, neutral, or positive). About 4\% of the annotated tweets contain emojis. The sentiment analysis of emojis yields several interesting conclusions. It turns out that most of the emojis are positive, especially the most popular ones. The sentiment distribution of the tweets with and without emojis is significantly different. The inter-annotator agreement on the tweets with emojis is higher. Emojis tend to occur at the end of the tweets, and their sentiment polarity increases with the distance. We observe no significant differences in emoji rankings between the 13 languages, and propose our Emoji Sentiment Ranking as a European language-independent resource for automated sentiment analysis. Finally, the paper provides a formalization of sentiment and novel visualization in the form of a sentiment bar.
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The last 20 years or so have seen a far-reaching reconfiguration of the characters that dominate the world of organizations. For much of its life, the study of organizations was dominated by two central characters, the manager and the worker, whose relationship with all its tensions, conflicts and accommodations unfolded with within a broader environment of markets, governments, shareholders, social institutions, technological forces and so forth. In recent years, however, there has been a substantial movement to change the two-actor show into a three-actor show, the organizational dyad into a triad. The newcomer to the stage has been the consumer, a character whose whims, habits, desires and practices are no longer seen as ‘impacting on’; the activities of managers and workers from the outside, but increasingly as defining them. This introduction to the Special Issue on ‘Organizations and their Consumers’; examines the ramifications of the rise of the consumer and the hegemony of global markets for (1) the nature of organizations and their management, (2) the employees and the labour process and (3) the consumers themselves as they increasingly find themselves doing work, usually unpaid, on behalf of organizations.
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In the era of social media, the notion of immaterial labor or free labor can be interpreted in different ways. On the one hand, Hardt and Negri argue, immaterial labor as labor creates immaterial products. On the other hand, free labor can be understood as unpaid labor that is voluntarily given. Fuchs combines the theories of free labor and Hardt and Negri's concept of the multitude with audience commodity theory in an innovative Marxist analysis of the Internet. In this perspective we critique Fuchs's argument for considering social networking sites as the scene of capitalist exploitation of free labor. We argue that Fuchs reduces the user interactions on the Internet to its economic function and so dismisses its democratic implications. In so doing he ignores the human significance of online interaction as a new public sphere.
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This study analyzes how teens represent themselves through their profile photographs on a popular nonymous chat site. Using visual content analysis methods, we analyzed 400 profile photographs, controlling for the self-reported gender and the apparent race of the photographic subject. The analysis finds significant differences in gaze, posture, dress, and distance from the camera according to gender and race, although racial differences are stronger for boys than for girls. To a surprising extent, the findings mirror previous findings of gender and race differences in face-to-face interaction, suggesting that the teens construe their profile images as invitations to interact with others online. At the same time, their photo choices reproduce culturally dominant ideologies of gender and race as reinforced by mass media images.
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Recent insights from critical social theory suggest that consumption and production co-constitute each other; a phenomenon referred to as prosumption'. It is further suggested that contemporary prosumption dynamics could alter the form of capitalism. In this article, we argue that recent literature and research on the intersection between capitalism and nature conservation are highly relevant in engaging these claims. Predominantly but not solely through interactive web 2.0 applications, conservation organisations are increasingly drawing consumers into the production of conservation, thereby enabling them to prosume' and co-create (narratives about and images of) nature' as well as their own identities as environmentally conscious citizens. We argue that prosumption is an intensification of earlier capitalist attempts at generating value-producing labour' from commodity-sign values. Ethnographic engagements with nature conservation in eastern and southern Africa, in turn, show that this value-producing labour is inherently material through its concealed connections with contradictory conservation realities in the context of late capitalism.
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The author describes and illustrates a hermeneutically grounded interpretive framework for deriving marketing-relevant insights from the "texts" of consumer stories and gives an overview of the philosophical and theoretical foundations of this approach. Next, the author describes a hermeneutic framework for interpreting the stories consumers tell about their experiences of products, services, brand images, and shopping. An illustrative analysis demonstrates how this framework can be applied to generate three levels of interpretation: (1) discerning the key patterns of meanings expressed by a given consumer in the texts of his or her consumption stories, (2) identifying key patterns of meaning that emerge across the consumption stories expressed by different consumers, and (3) deriving broader conceptual and managerial implications from the analysis of consumer narratives. This hermeneutic approach is compared and contrasted to the means-end chains laddering framework, the "voice of the customer" approach to identifying consumer needs, and market-oriented ethnography. The author concludes with a discussion that highlights the types of marketing insights that can result from a hermeneutic interpretation of consumers' consumption stories and then addresses the roles creativity and expertise play in this research orientation.
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This article deals with the productive activities carried out by consumers, supervised by the suppliers for their profit, in the market economy. There is abundant managerial literature on this topic. A corpus of marketing texts shows that putting consumers to work is a specific aim of those responsible for organizing work in companies. Sociological studies followed, but in unsystematic and sectorized ways. This article analyses consumer activity itself, using the concepts and tools of the sociology of work. The four aspects of consumer activity are described: the way it is prescribed and organized, the actual work done, the output, and the meaning it has for those who carry it out. With this theoretical frame and an empirical survey, I identify three ways in which the consumer is put to work: in addition to the forms of work that have already been clearly identified, that is, self-service and collaborative coproduction, which I discuss here, I consider “organizational work.”
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Drawing on an ethnographic study of an empirically neglected sector and setting of employment, namely sales-service work in sex shops located in London’s Soho, this article develops the sociological analysis of sales-service work in two ways. First, it emphasizes the inter-relationship between emotion, aesthetics and sexuality underpinning the performance of sexualized labour, shaping the way in which the latter is enacted and embodied. Second, it highlights the importance of locating, or placing sexualized labour, teasing out the ways in which it is encoded and embedded in the particular place in which it is performed, a theme that remains under-developed in the study of sales-service work to date.
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This article offers objectification theory as a framework for understanding the experiential consequences of being female in a culture that sexually objectifies the female body. Objectification theory posits that girls and women are typically acculturated to internalize an observer's perspective as a primary view of their physical selves. This perspective on self can lead to habitual body monitoring, which, in turn, can increase women's opportunities for shame and anxiety, reduce opportunities for peak motivational states, and diminish awareness of internal bodily states. Accumulations of such experiences may help account for an array of mental health risks that disproportionately affect women: unipolar depression, sexual dysfunction, and eating disorders. Objectification theory also illuminates why changes in these mental health risks appear to occur in step with life-course changes in the female body.
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This article develops the conceptualization and analysis of aesthetic labour in two parts. The first part focuses on conceptualizing aesthetic labour. We critically revisit the emotional labour literature, arguing that the analysis of interactive service work is impeded by the way in which its corporeal aspects are retired and that, by shifting the focus from emotional to aesthetic labour, we are able to recuperate the embodied character of service work. We then explore the insights provided by the sociological perspectives on the body contained in the works of Goffman and Bourdieu in order to conceptualize aesthetic labour as embodied labour. In the second part, we develop our analysis of aesthetic labour within the context of a discussion of the aesthetics of organization. We discern three ways in which aesthetics is recognized to imbue organization: aesthetics of organization, aesthetics in organization and aesthetics as organization. We contend that employees are increasingly seen not simply as `software' but as `hardware', in the sense that they too can be corporately moulded to portray the organizational aesthetic. We ground this analysis in a case study from research conducted by the authors.
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The author describes and illustrates a hermeneutically grounded interpretive framework for deriving marketing-relevant insights from the “texts” of consumer stories and gives an overview of the philosophical and theoretical foundations of this approach. Next, the author describes a hermeneutic framework for interpreting the stories consumers tell about their experiences of products, services, brand images, and shopping. An illustrative analysis demonstrates how this framework can be applied to generate three levels of interpretation: (1) discerning the key patterns of meanings expressed by a given consumer in the texts of his or her consumption stories, (2) identifying key patterns of meaning that emerge across the consumption stories expressed by different consumers, and (3) deriving broader conceptual and managerial implications from the analysis of consumer narratives. This hermeneutic approach is compared and contrasted to the means—end chains laddering framework, the “voice of the customer” approach to identifying consumer needs, and market-oriented ethnography. The author concludes with a discussion that highlights the types of marketing insights that can result from a hermeneutic interpretation of consumers’ consumption stories and then addresses the roles creativity and expertise play in this research orientation.
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A continuing challenge for organizations is the persistent underrepresentation of women in senior roles, which gained a particular prominence during the global financial crisis (GFC). The GFC has raised questions regarding the forms of leadership that allowed the crisis to happen and alternative proposals regarding how future crises might be avoided. Within this context women’s leadership has been positioned as an ethical alternative to styles of masculinist leadership that led to the crisis in the first place. Through a multimodal discursive analysis this article examines the socio-cultural assumptions sustaining the gendering of leadership in the popular press to critically analyse how women’s leadership is represented during the GFC of 2008–2012. Highlighting the media’s portrayal of women’s leadership as a gendered field of activity where different forms of gender capital come into play, we identify three sets of dialectics: women as leaders and women as feminine, women as credible leaders and women as lacking in credibility, and women as victims and women as their own worst enemies. Together, the dialectics work together to form a discursive pattern framed by a male leadership model that narrates the promise of women leaders, yet the disappointment that they are not men. Our study extends understandings regarding how female and feminine forms of gender capital operate dialectically, where the media employs feminine capital to promote women’s positioning as leaders yet also leverages female capital as a constraint. We propose that this understanding can be of value to organizations to understand the impact and influence of discourse on efforts to promote women into leadership roles.
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Background: "Fitspiration" (also known as "fitspo") aims to inspire individuals to exercise and be healthy, but emerging research indicates exposure can negatively impact female body image. Fitspiration is frequently accessed on social media; however, it is currently unclear the degree to which messages about body image and exercise differ by gender of the subject. Objective: The aim of our study was to conduct a content analysis to identify the characteristics of fitspiration content posted across social media and whether this differs according to subject gender. Methods: Content tagged with #fitspo across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr was extracted over a composite 30-minute period. All posts were analyzed by 2 independent coders according to a codebook. Results: Of the 415/476 (87.2%) relevant posts extracted, most posts were on Instagram (360/415, 86.8%). Most posts (308/415, 74.2%) related thematically to exercise, and 81/415 (19.6%) related thematically to food. In total, 151 (36.4%) posts depicted only female subjects and 114/415 (27.5%) depicted only male subjects. Female subjects were typically thin but toned; male subjects were often muscular or hypermuscular. Within the images, female subjects were significantly more likely to be aged under 25 years (P<.001) than the male subjects, to have their full body visible (P=.001), and to have their buttocks emphasized (P<.001). Male subjects were more likely to have their face visible in the post (P=.005) than the female subjects. Female subjects were more likely to be sexualized than the male subjects (P=.002). Conclusions: Female #fitspo subjects typically adhered to the thin or athletic ideal, and male subjects typically adhered to the muscular ideal. Future research and interventional efforts should consider the potential objectifying messages in fitspiration, as it relates to both female and male body image.
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Influencer commerce has experienced an exponential growth, resulting in new forms of digital practices among young women. Influencers are one form of microcelebrity who accumulate a following on blogs and social media through textual and visual narrations of their personal, everyday lives, upon which advertorials for products and services are premised. In Singapore, Influencers are predominantly young women whose commercial practices are most noted on Instagram. In response, everyday users are beginning to model after Influencers through tags, reposts and #OOTDs (Outfit Of The Day), unwittingly producing volumes of advertising content that is not only encouraged by Influencers and brands but also publicly utilised with little compensation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork among Instagram Influencers and followers in Singapore, this article investigates the visibility labour in which followers engage on follower-anchored Instagram advertorials, in an attention economy that has swiftly profited off work that is quietly creative but insidiously exploitative.
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This paper examines the role of sexuality in the labour process in a case study drawn from the off-course betting industry, as a contribution to the discussion of forms of service work. It draws on ethnographic research in three betting shops of a major bookmaking company. Echoing recent studies of sexuality and work, the paper argues that sexuality represents a strong undercurrent in organizational power relationships, and in the tacit expectations of employees. Such expectations, often codified in terms of ambiguous references to ‘personality’, impact on both recruitment processes and authority and peer relations in the organisation of work. If such expectations of necessity remain implicit, sexuality is also shown to be an unstable managerial resource which can emerge as a problematic area of social relations in work.
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Discourses in Place is essential reading for anyone with an interest in language and the way we communicate. Written by leaders in the field, this text argues that we can only interpret the meaning of public texts like road signs, notices and brand logos by considering the social and physical world that surrounds them. Drawing on a wide range of real examples, from signs in the Chinese mountains, to urban centres in Austria, Italy, North America and Hong Kong, this textbook equips students with the methodology and models they need to undertake their own research in 'geosemiotics', the key interface between semiotics and the physical world. Discourses in Place is highly illustrated, containing real examples of language in the material world, including a 'how to use this book' section, group and individual activities, and a glossary of key terms. © 2003 Ron Scollon and Suzie Wong Scollon. All rights reserved.
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Public and academic debate about 'porn culture' is proliferating. Ironically, what is often lost in these debates is a sense of what is specific about pornography. By focusing on pornography's mainstream - contemporary commercial products for a heterosexual male audience - Everyday Pornography offers the opportunity to reconsider what it is that makes pornography a specific form of industrial practice and genre of representation. Everyday Pornography presents original work from scholars from a range of academic disciplines (Media Studies, Law, Sociology, Psychology, Women's Studies, Political Science), introducing new methodologies and approaches whilst reflecting on the ongoing value of older approaches. Among the topics explored are: the porn industry's marketing practices (spam emails, reviews) and online organisation. commercial sex in Second Life. the pornographic narratives of phone sex and amateur videos. the content of best-selling porn videos. how the male consumer is addressed by pornography, represented within the mainstream, understood by academics and contained by legislation. This collection places a particular emphasis on anti-pornography feminism, a movement which has been experiencing a revival since the mid-2000s. Drawing on the experiences of activists alongside academics, Everyday Pornography offers an opportunity to explore the intellectual and political challenges of anti-pornography feminism and consider its relevance for contemporary academic debate.
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Sociologist Ashley Mears takes us behind the brightly lit runways and glossy advertisements of the fashion industry in this insider's study of the world of modeling. Mears, who worked as a model in New York and London, draws on observations as well as extensive interviews with male and female models, agents, clients, photographers, stylists, and others, to explore the economics and politics-and the arbitrariness- behind the business of glamour. Exploring a largely hidden arena of cultural production, she shows how the right "look" is discovered, developed, and packaged to become a prized commodity. She examines how models sell themselves, how agents promote them, and how clients decide to hire them. An original contribution to the sociology of work in the new cultural economy, Pricing Beauty offers rich, accessible analysis of the invisible ways in which gender, race, and class shape worth in the marketplace.
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Porno? Chic! examines the relationship between the proliferation of pornography and sexualised culture in the West and social and cultural trends which have advanced the rights of women and homosexuals.
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Major shifts in gender, work, and sexuality have led to the rising prominence of display work, the display of sexualized bodily capital for wages. This article develops the concept of display work and examines its implications for the gendered organization of work. Display work is a continuous rather than a categorical variable and can describe a range of jobs from those involving overtly sexualized bodies for sale as bodies to professionalized bodies on display. Within the field of display work, we identify a paradox: among some display workers, women earn significantly more than men, a wage gap that reverses the enduring pattern of gendered wage inequality in the broader labor market. This article flips the typical line of inquiry by comparing earnings and career dynamics among performers in fashion modeling, pornography, and stripping, three cases of display work characterized by clear inverted wage gaps. We argue that in the field of display work, freelance and winner-take-all workplace structures intersect with cultural norms that devalue the sexualized display of male bodies, resulting in men’s lower pay. We conclude with implications for feminist studies of the postindustrial workplace, drawing from key tenets in sociology of sexuality, culture, and gendered organizations.
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This book is a critical and ethnographic study of camgirls: women who broadcast themselves over the web for the general public while trying to cultivate a measure of celebrity in the process. The books over-arching question is, What does it mean for feminists to speak about the personal as political in a networked society that encourages women to represent through confession, celebrity, and sexual display, but punishes too much visibility with conservative censure and backlash? The narrative follows that of the camgirl phenomenon, beginning with the earliest experiments in personal homecamming and ending with the newest forms of identity and community being articulated through social networking sites like Live Journal, YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook. It is grounded in interviews, performance analysis of events transpiring between camgirls and their viewers, and the authors own experiences as an ersatz camgirl while conducting the research. Published (author's copy) Peer Reviewed
Article
The main objective of this article is to show how organisations can be understood as producers of consumers and that the sphere of consumption should, therefore, become an integral part of the field of Organisation Studies. In order to achieve this objective, we have adopted a Marxist dialectical approach to the centrality of consumption in the value realisation process of capital, within a historical reconstitution of the production of the consumer, and we offer two empirical illustrations of contemporary transformations involving the spheres of consumption and work in the context of for-profit and non-profit organisations. We analyse how the restructuring of production that started in the 1980s altered organisational practices and forms: consumer management began to inform production; the boundaries between work and consumption became blurred, and the logic of value started permeating even non-profit organisations. In this new scenario, the sphere of consumption itself is modified and comes to be understood in terms of new categories, such as prosumption. We conclude by discussing how insights from our analysis will contribute to the field of Organisation Studies so as to build a bridge between work and consumption, and to take into consideration the complex web within which work management, consumer management and organisational forms overlap in the value realisation process.
Article
This article conceptualizes the emotional labor construct in terms of four dimensions: frequency of appropriate emotional display, attentiveness to required display rules, variety of emotions to be displayed, and emotional dissonance generated by having to express organizationally desired emotions not genuinely felt. Through this framework, the article then presents a series of propositions about the organizational-, job-, and individual-level characteristics that are antecedents of each of these four dimensions. Frequency of emotional display, attentiveness to display rules, variety of emotions to be displayed, and emotional dissonance are hypothesized to lead to greater emotional exhaustion, but only emotional dissonance is hypothesized to lead to lower job satisfaction. Implications for future theory development and empirical research on emotional labor are discussed as well.
Article
Authenticity has been a focus of much leadership research in recent years. Despite this interest, there has been a dearth of studies that explore the role of gender in the social construction of authenticity. To date, authentic leadership theories have tended to be either gender neutral or, where gender has been considered, it is argued that women as ‘outsiders’ are less likely to be accepted by their followers as authentic leaders. In this study we examine the media representations of the CEOs — one male, one female — of two major Australian retail banks during the global financial crisis. Our approach enables us to show that authenticity is something leaders ‘do’ rather than something they ‘have’ or ‘are’, and that being constructed as authentic depends on the leader performing authenticity in line with gender norms deemed appropriate for the socially constructed context in which they are expected to lead.
Article
Amid the growing literature on the costs and rewards of physical appearance for labor market outcomes, an economistic emphasis on looks as an investment strategy has gained prominence. The concept of aesthetic labor is a useful sociological intervention for understanding how the value of certain looks is constructed, and how looks matter for social stratification. Aesthetic labor is the practice of screening, managing, and controlling workers on the basis of their physical appearance. The concept advances research on the service economy by moving beyond a focus on emotions to emphasize worker corporeality. This article first untangles aesthetic labor from related concepts, including body work, emotional labor, and embodied cultural capital. Next is a review of three contexts in which scholars have applied aesthetic labor to the workplace: the organization, freelance labor, and the market. Because it situates the value of beauty in context, aesthetic labor foregrounds those power relations that define aesthetics, such as class, race, and gender. The concept incorporates insights from field theories of bodily capital, such that aesthetic labor denaturalizes beauty and seeks to explain the processes through which looks translate into economic and symbolic rewards.
Book
This international overview of how pornography--from softcore to hardcore, gay to straight, female to male, black to white--infiltrates and proliferates through various media. Porn is everywhere; from the suggestiveness of music videos to the explicit discussions of popular magazines; from the erotica of advertising to the refashioning of sex acts into art works; from a small garage industry to an internet empire. The media immerses us in the pornographic aesthetic. Now integral to popular culture, porn is part of our everyday lives. Sexual desire is commodified, pornified and the media leads the way. Exploring music videos, alt porn sites, Cosmogirls and Gaydar online forums, H&M's street advertising, retro pin-ups, film and educational sex videos alike, Pornification analyses the transformation of porn in today's media and its impact on our culture.