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Consumption of entrepreneurs, consumption of entrepreneurship: Bloggers, influencers and socialites in a post-feminist economy
Stockholm University.
KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.), Organisation och ledning.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-4663-9913
KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.), Organisation och ledning.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-5479-2563
2018 (engelsk)Konferansepaper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

In the wake of the neoliberal turn, discourses on the ‘the women entrepreneur’ who starts up and manages her own company, has been stretched to include ‘the entrepreneurial women’, who affirms already achieved gender equality and thus find feminist activism less necessary to pursue (McRobbie, 2004; Gill, 2007). Entrepreneurship emphasis onindividualism, choice, and empowerment offers women postfeminist subject positions (Lewis, 2014). Wo/men’s independence has turned into an entrepreneurial class achievement (Gill, 2014), which is attained through consumption and a critical gaze on the self (Tasker & Negra, 2007). It has been reported that women’s magazines have dropped feminist content and nowadays offer women space for both self-revaluation and self-actualization (McRobbie, 2004, 2009, 2011, HolmerNadesan& Trethewey, 2000; Bröckling, 2010) Boundaries become blurred, including the male/female division, whilst the autonomous male subject of liberal polity (‘the economic man’) is turned into an invisible template (Hekman2004).  

In this paper, we study this emerging terrain by turning to popular bloggers’ sites asking what kind of subject positions that are promoted. Our empirical data consist of blog posts, podcasts, social media interactions and interviews with a number of professional Swedish bloggers/influencers/entrepreneurs, both male and female. 

What is common for all these entrepreneurs is that they have built up thriving and multi-faceted businesses around their personas – centering on a constant sharing of their personal lives in combination with positioning themselves as socialites and experts on matters such as fashion, interior decoration, media trends, travel – and entrepreneurship. The base – usually a blog site or a weekly podcast – has been expanded by all sorts of other activities; e.g., book publishing, TV shows, stage performances, beauty products, clothing lines and magazines.

Feminism is an integrated part of all this, but in a ‘girlpower-ish’ sense where women can be independent and successful by their own making. In one sense, their subject positioning signifies a departure from the ethos of usefulness and discipline of classic neoliberalism (cfBerglund et al, 2017); they are to be admired because of their consumption, they are to be consumed themselves as signifiers of effectiveness, success, style and family happiness. But they are also avid promoters of classic entrepreneurial virtues; their lifestyles are within reach if you work hard, consume the right products and services, care for your career and your family at the same time. It is subject positions void of structural aspects of society (such as class), void of political conflict and void of problematisationof consumption in relation to sustainability issues.

Our empirical examples are clearly related to recent claims that the neoliberal turn have unearthed the entrepreneurial “active, freely choosing, self-reinventing subject of postfeminism”(Gill and Scharff, 2011, p. 7). This subject may however take different shapes whereby it is more suitable to talk about how entrepreneurship discourses underpin a reconfiguration of femininity, thus offering women a variety of ‘outfits’. What these subjects share, except expecting undisputed economic freedom, is the wish (or need) to continuously self-actualise and transform, take responsibility, exercise (often conflicting) choices, in a world without radical or upsetting politics (Lewis et al, 2017). The entrepreneurial subject of neoliberalism and the self-fashioning postfeminist subject breed each other.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Sydney: Maquarie University , 2018.
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Företagsekonomi; Industriell ekonomi och organisation
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-230663OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-230663DiVA, id: diva2:1218040
Konferanse
10th Biennial International Interdisciplinary Conference on Gender, Work and Organisation
Merknad

QC 20180614

Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-06-14 Laget: 2018-06-14 Sist oppdatert: 2018-06-14bibliografisk kontrollert

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