Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Pg. 99: Grant Bollmer & Katherine Guinness's "The Influencer Factory"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Influencer Factory: A Marxist Theory of Corporate Personhood on YouTube by Grant Bollmer and Katherine Guinness.

About the book, from the publisher:
Influencers are more than social media personalities who attract attention for brands, argue Grant Bollmer and Katherine Guinness. They are figures of a new transformation in capitalism, in which the logic of the self is indistinguishable from the logic of the corporation. Influencers are emblematic of what Bollmer and Guinness call the "Corpocene": a moment in capitalism in which individuals achieve the status of living, breathing, talking corporations. Behind the veneer of leisure and indulgence, most influencers are laboring daily, usually for pittance wages, to manufacture a commodity called "the self"—a raw material for brands to use—with the dream of becoming corporations in human form by owning and investing in the products they sell. Refuting the theory that digital labor and economies are immaterial, Bollmer and Guinness search influencer content for evidence of the material infrastructure of capitalism. Each chapter looks to what literally appears in the backgrounds of videos and images: the houses, cars, warehouses, and spaces of the market that point back to the manufacturing and circulation of consumer goods. Demonstrating the material reality of producing the self as a commodity, The Influencer Factory makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of contemporary economic life.
Visit Grant Bollmer's website and Katherine Guinness's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Influencer Factory.

--Marshal Zeringue