11 August 2022

One of the central features of the contemporary creative labour environment, especially in the digital economy, is the incorporation of personality, affect, and interpersonal relationships into the workplace. Subjectivity itself has been “put to work”. This is certainly the case in the online creator industry which is associated with self-branding, self-promotion, and the conscious crafting of commercialisable identities. The work of influencers, OnlyFans creators, and TikTokers is often critiqued for being a process of commodification of self and thus a site for the degradation of meaningful personhood. But is this really the case? Drawing on ideas in my new book Digital Labour, this talk will question this assumption. It will propose instead the framework of “assetisation” to explain the commercialisation of subjectivity in online creator work, with implications for how we understand all kinds of immaterial labour both as economic phenomena but also as sites of worker agency.

Dr Kylie Jarrett is Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies at Maynooth University, Ireland. She is author of the Digital Labor (2022) and Feminism, Labour and Digital Media: The Digital Housewife (2016) and co-author of #NSFW: Sex, Humor and Risk in Social Media (with Susanna Paasonen and Ben Light, 2019) and Google and the Culture of Search (with Ken Hillis and Michael Petit, 2013) as well as a wide range of articles exploring the commercial Web. 





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