This seminar series brings together researchers from the UK and USA for two events at Highfield (7th February) and Winchester School of Art (16th April) to explore transformations, debates, and tensions associated with digital labour. The first seminar focused on the home-work conflicts of digital labour for those endeavouring to make a living on digital platforms. The second seminar focuses on social media careers and fashion blogging. This series is convened by Dr Dan Ashton (Transforming Creativity/Winchester School of Art) and Dr Rebecca Taylor (Work Futures/Sociology) with support from the Web Sciences Institute.
Seminar 2: Negotiating professional/amateur boundaries in the digital economy
Brooke Erin Duffy
‘Digital Dream Jobs: The Promises and Perils of a Social Media Career’
Against the backdrop of profound transformations in the technologies, economies, and politics of creative labor, enterprising young people are flocking to social media with aspirations of capitalizing on their passion projects. To these digitally networked content creators, fashion blogs, YouTube, and Instagram represent prospective paths to lucrative and rewarding careers. But to what extent do their investments pay off? In this talk, I draw upon dozens of in-depth interviews to highlight both the promises and perils of a social media-enabled career.
‘Fashion Blogging as Invented Labour’
In this talk, drawing on a series of semi-structured interviews I have been conducting with a broad range of UK-based fashion bloggers since 2013, I interrogate the strategies they have developed to invent and legitimate their practice. I engage with the work of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu to look at the idea of the discursive construction of fashion blogging as well as at the rules and techniques that have emerged to regulate it. In particular, I comment on the journalists vs bloggers debate; on the idea of authenticity; and on the issue of monetization.