(Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love (Hardcover)

Gender, Social Media, and Aspirational Work

By Brooke Erin Duffy

Yale University Press, 9780300218176, 320pp.

Publication Date: June 27, 2017



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.

About the Author

Brooke Erin Duffy is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University and the author of Remake, Remodel: Women's Magazines in the Digital Age.