Feminism, Labour and Digital Media: The Digital Housewife

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Routledge, Nov 19, 2015 - Computers - 180 pages

There is a contradiction at the heart of digital media. We use commercial platforms to express our identity, to build community and to engage politically. At the same time, our status updates, tweets, videos, photographs and music files are free content for these sites. We are also generating an almost endless supply of user data that can be mined, re-purposed and sold to advertisers. As users of the commercial web, we are socially and creatively engaged, but also labourers, exploited by the companies that provide our communication platforms. How do we reconcile these contradictions?

Feminism, Labour and Digital Media argues for using the work of Marxist feminist theorists about the role of domestic work in capitalism to explore these competing dynamics of consumer labour. It uses the concept of the Digital Housewife to outline the relationship between the work we do online and the unpaid sphere of social reproduction. It demonstrates how feminist perspectives expand our critique of consumer labour in digital media. In doing so, the Digital Housewife returns feminist inquiry from the margins and places it at the heart of critical digital media analysis.


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About the author (2015)

Kylie Jarrett is Lecturer in the Department of Media Studies at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. With Ken Hillis and Michael Petit, she is co-author of Google and the Culture of Search and has researched a range of other commercial web platforms such as eBay, YouTube and Facebook.