The abstract is below. You can access the full paper here.
Sexualized labour in digital culture: Instagram influencers, porn chic and the monetization of attention
The rise of digital technologies and social media platforms has been linked to changing forms of work, as well as the mainstreaming of pornography and a ‘porn chic’ aesthetic. This article examines some of the ways in which these themes coalesce, and interrogates the conceptual boundaries of sexualised labour, extending beyond traditional organisational settings, and into Web 2.0. The study explores performances of sexualised labour on social media by analysing visual and textual content from 172 female influencers on Instagram. Our paper contributes to the literature on sexualised labour in three ways. First, by demonstrating how sexualised labour is enacted across various forms of influencer labour, and how this relates to the attention economy and monetisation. Second, by developing the extant conceptualisation of sexualised labour and introducing connective labour as a required element to mobilise sexualised labour. Third, by opening up a critical analysis of what is meant by ‘sexualised’ labour within a cultural context of pornographication.