"(Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love" by Brooke Erin Duffy

(Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love Gender and Aspirational Labor in the Social Media Economy Brooke Erin Duffy

Publication date:
12 Apr 2022
Yale University Press
320 pages: 210 x 140 x 27mm
8 b-w illus.

An illuminating investigation into a class of enterprising women aspiring to “make it” in the social media economy but often finding only unpaid work

Profound transformations in our digital society have brought many enterprising women to social media platforms—from blogs to YouTube to Instagram—in hopes of channeling their talents into fulfilling careers. In this eye-opening book, Brooke Erin Duffy draws much-needed attention to the gap between the handful who find lucrative careers and the rest, whose “passion projects” amount to free work for corporate brands.
Drawing on interviews and fieldwork, Duffy offers fascinating insights into the work and lives of fashion bloggers, beauty vloggers, and designers. She connects the activities of these women to larger shifts in unpaid and gendered labor, offering a lens through which to understand, anticipate, and critique broader transformations in the creative economy. At a moment when social media offer the rousing assurance that anyone can “make it”—and stand out among freelancers, temps, and gig workers—Duffy asks us all to consider the stakes of not getting paid to do what you love.

Brooke Erin Duffy is associate professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. She is the author of Remake, Remodel: Women's Magazines in the Digital Age and co-author of Platforms and Cultural Production.