Online Influence (Online (MS Teams Class 🖥️ 🇫🇲 )

Online Influence (Online (MS Teams Class 🖥️ 🇫🇲 )

March 5, 2024

Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet

Facilitation Reading

Chapter 6: The Buys and Selling of Labour-Power”


How do race and gender dynamics influence the economic and labor aspects of digital fashion blogging?

The Economy of the Social Media Era
We plan to have a guest speaker today. Jaclyn Mittman! She’s in Los Angeles, so we’ll meet on Teams today. You’re welcome to join from the classroom if you need a space, but I suspect most students will prefer to stay home.

Form for Jaclyn’s Talk

Lecture Notes

How do race and gender dynamics influence the economic and labor aspects of digital fashion blogging?

My Notes
  • Key Reading Overview: "Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet" by Minh-Ha T. Pham
    • Discuss the economic aspects of fashion blogging, including monetization strategies and the impact of commercialization on content.
    • Highlight Pham's exploration of how Asian female bloggers navigate racial and gender identities in a space dominated by Western norms.

Part 2: Cultural Dynamics in Digital Spaces

  • Discuss the concept of Digital Labor and its relevance to the work of fashion bloggers.
  • Explore the idea of Cultural Appropriation in the context of fashion blogging and its implications on racial and cultural representation.

Part 3: Marxism, Commodity Fetishism, and Hegemony

  • Relate Marx's ideas on labor and exploitation to the digital labor of fashion bloggers.
  • Introduce the concept of Commodity Fetishism and its application in understanding the value and perception of fashion in digital spaces.
  • Discuss Hegemony in the context of the fashion industry, focusing on how dominant cultural norms shape the blogging landscape.

Part 4: The Influence of Neoliberalism

  • Explain Neoliberalism and its impact on the digital fashion economy.
  • Analyze how market dynamics under neoliberal policies affect the autonomy and content of fashion bloggers.

Part 5: Critical Discussion and Reflection

  • Pose the guiding question to the class for discussion: "How do race and gender dynamics influence the economic and labor aspects of digital fashion blogging, and in what ways do these dynamics intersect with Marxist theories of labor and exploitation in the digital influencer economy?"
  • Encourage students to reflect on their own perceptions and experiences with digital fashion spaces.

To Read

Minh-Ha T. Pham's "Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet”

Look out for ways we might update Phan’s thinking in light of TikTok, Reels, and YouTube shorts.

Summary: "Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet" by Minh-Ha T. Pham explores personal style blogging among Asian women. The book examines the intersection of race and fashion, highlighting how these bloggers navigate racial identities in a space influenced by Western norms. Pham discusses the economic aspects of blogging, including monetization and its impact on content. She also addresses gender dynamics, emphasizing female bloggers' agency in a patriarchal digital landscape. The work provides insight into the complexities faced by Asian bloggers, focusing on how race, gender, and economics intertwine in the digital fashion world.

  1. Digital Fashion Economy: The economic system that encompasses all aspects of fashion in the digital realm, including online retail, digital marketing, and social media influence.
  2. Intersectionality: A framework for understanding how aspects of a person's social and political identities (gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, etc.) combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege.
  3. Commodity Fetishism (review): A Marxist concept referring to the distorted perception of the social relationships involved in production, where commodities are imbued with value independent of their labor context. This term helps in analyzing how personal style and fashion are commodified in the digital realm.
  4. Hegemony: The dominance of one group over others, often maintained through cultural means. This is relevant in discussing how certain racial and gender norms dominate the digital fashion industry and influence content creation and reception.
  5. Neoliberalism: An economic and political ideology favoring free-market capitalism, deregulation, and reduction in government spending. This term is important for understanding the broader economic context in which digital fashion blogging and influencer culture operate, especially in terms of monetization and market dynamics.

To Watch

Student Facilitation

Chapter 6: The Busying and Selling of Labour-Power


Labor-Power in Digital Economies: How does Marx's concept of the buying and selling of labor-power in Chapter 6 of "Capital" relate to the labor dynamics observed in Pham's discussion of fashion blogging? Consider how personal style bloggers monetize their digital presence and the implications this has for understanding labor in the digital economy.

Commodification of Self in Digital Spaces: Marx discusses the commodification of labor in industrial settings. How does this concept apply to the commodification of identity and self-representation in digital spaces, as seen in Pham's exploration of fashion blogging and the use of platforms like TikTok and YouTube shorts?

Digital Labor and Workers' Rights: Considering Marx's analysis of workers' rights and conditions in Chapter 6, how do you think these concepts apply to the digital laborers Pham describes, who often work in unregulated, gig-based online economies?

Evolving Notions of Labor and Exploitation: How do Marx's insights into the exploitation of labor in the factory setting compare to the challenges and forms of exploitation encountered by the fashion bloggers in Pham's work, especially considering the physical and mental demands of maintaining an online presence?

To Do