For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Digital “women’s work?”: Job recruitment ads and the feminization of social media employment"

by Duffy, Brooke Erin; Schwartz, Becca (2018)


In the wake of profound transformations in digital media markets and economies, the structures and conditions of cultural production are being radically reconfigured. This study explores the nascent field of social media work through an analysis of job recruitment ads—texts, we contend, that provide insight into a key discursive site of imagining the ideal digital laborer. Drawing upon a qualitative textual analysis of 150 adverts, we show how employers construct workers through a patterned set of features, including sociability, deft emotional management, and flexibility. Such industrial imaginings incite workers to remain ever available, juggle various roles and responsibilities, and engage in persistent emotional labor—both online and off. These expectations, we argue, allude to the increasingly feminized nature of social media employment, with its characteristic invisibility, lower pay, and marginal status within the technology field.


Sexism, Gender, Invisible Work, Platform Work, Platform Economies, Gig Economies, Hyperflexible Work, Algorithmic Labor, Precarious Work


Employment, Platforms, Automation

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