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Women’s Work: Affective Labor, Media Convergence and the Dr. Phil Brand

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Abstract:

Theories of affective labor usually focus on how emotion and care have been dislodged from presumably non-economic realm of women’s work and turned into commodities and feminized service sector job requirements. Our research traces a parallel diffusion of market logic, in the form of a culture of entrepreneurialism, into women’s unwaged domestic affective labor in the home. Taking the multimedia Dr. Phil empire of advice books, a TV program, and a companion web site as our case study, situate the diffusion of managerial rationales and techniques for producing the emotional health, stability and well-being of the postfeminist family within a climate of neoliberal social policy, including George Bush’s Healthy Marriage Initiative. We show how the Dr. Phil program of “strategic and purposeful” simultaneously genders and mobilizes affective labor in the service of welfare privatization, and how the Dr. Phil corporation in turn relies on women’s affective labor to produce its immaterial product—the Dr. Phil brand. We show how the synergy and interactivity of "convergence culture" makes Dr. Phil's brand of self help possible, enabling the extraction of surplus value from the laborious “self work” Dr. Phil's customers perform on themselves as a condition of their freedom and empowerment.
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p231921_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Ouellette, Laurie. and Wilson, Julie. "Women’s Work: Affective Labor, Media Convergence and the Dr. Phil Brand" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, TBA, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2017-09-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p231921_index.html>

APA Citation:

Ouellette, L. and Wilson, J. A. "Women’s Work: Affective Labor, Media Convergence and the Dr. Phil Brand" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, TBA, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2017-09-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p231921_index.html

Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: Theories of affective labor usually focus on how emotion and care have been dislodged from presumably non-economic realm of women’s work and turned into commodities and feminized service sector job requirements. Our research traces a parallel diffusion of market logic, in the form of a culture of entrepreneurialism, into women’s unwaged domestic affective labor in the home. Taking the multimedia Dr. Phil empire of advice books, a TV program, and a companion web site as our case study, situate the diffusion of managerial rationales and techniques for producing the emotional health, stability and well-being of the postfeminist family within a climate of neoliberal social policy, including George Bush’s Healthy Marriage Initiative. We show how the Dr. Phil program of “strategic and purposeful” simultaneously genders and mobilizes affective labor in the service of welfare privatization, and how the Dr. Phil corporation in turn relies on women’s affective labor to produce its immaterial product—the Dr. Phil brand. We show how the synergy and interactivity of "convergence culture" makes Dr. Phil's brand of self help possible, enabling the extraction of surplus value from the laborious “self work” Dr. Phil's customers perform on themselves as a condition of their freedom and empowerment.


Similar Titles:
Living for a Working: Cultural Labor, Lifestyle Creep, and the Gendered Problem of Affect in Media Work


 
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