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Working for your own folks: the microeconomics of social media

Nicolescu, Razvan; Venkatraman, Shriram; Haynes, Nell; (2021) Working for your own folks: the microeconomics of social media. Journal of Cultural Economy , 15 (2) pp. 168-183. 10.1080/17530350.2021.1974072. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper uses a comparative ethnographic approach to explore the ways in which social media enables new economic strategies that capitalize on women's traditional forms of reliance within their local communities. We use ethnographic examples from northern Chile, southeast Italy, and south India to show how women are successful in establishing small but prestigious entrepreneurial activities by using social media to respond to local social and cultural needs. Women use social media to transform both conventional work practices and individuals' notions of work in ways that overcome important structural constraints they face in their respective communities. These findings contrast with optimistic analyses that suggest online platforms decrease global inequalities through bringing disadvantaged people into global economic flows. This article demonstrates the effective ways in which individuals use social media to gradually change local norms related to gender and work while making small but important gains towards economic stability. This process is related to important shifts in sociality that have resulted from social media use within local communities. By focusing on entrepreneurship and gendered aspects of online economic exchange, we develop an understanding of what happens when longstanding expectations for gendered work meet commerce made possible through new media.

Type: Article
Title: Working for your own folks: the microeconomics of social media
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17530350.2021.1974072
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/17530350.2021.1974072
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided theoriginal work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way
Keywords: Social media, micro-economics, online entrepreneurs, gender, social relations, work
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10183541
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