Advertisement

Ambivalence and Attachment: Some Final Reflections

  • Akane Kanai
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter concludes with some reflections on relatability as an affective relation that may be situated within the context of emotional capitalism (Illouz in Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism. Polity Press, Cambridge, 2007) and the injunctions to other ‘positive’ affects in neoliberal culture such as confidence and empathy. Following scholarship on transformations in labour in neoliberal culture, relatability may be seen as part of the breakdown of boundaries between work and leisure, requiring work to be invested in a future-oriented self at all times. In a continuation of ‘women’s work’ that has traditionally blurred distinctions between public and private spheres, young women are required to affectively balance and work on feelings and experiences in the extraction of value from the everyday. I summarise the book’s critical approach to relatability as a status that suggests belonging and inclusivity, yet operates on existing hierarchies of gender, race, class and other forms of difference. I conclude with some questions as to what may lie beyond relatability, or if indeed relatability’s parameters may be rethought or expanded so that the intensive regulation of young women may be dismantled.

Keywords

Emotional capitalism Neoliberalism Post-Fordism Women’s work Whiteness 

References

  1. Adkins, Lisa. 2016. “Contingent Labour and the Rewriting of the Sexual Contract.” In The Post-Fordist Sexual Contract: Working and Living in Contingency, edited by Lisa Adkins and Maryanne Dever, 1–28. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Andrejevic, Mark. 2013. Infoglut: How Too Much Information Is Changing the Way We Think and Know. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Banet-Weiser, Sarah. 2012. Authentic TM: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Beech, Jennifer. 2017. “Facebook and Absent-Present Rhetorics of Whiteness.” In Rhetorics of Whiteness: Postracial Hauntings in Popular Culture, Social Media, and Education, edited by Tammie M. Kennedy, Joyce Irene Middleton, and Krista Ratcliffe, 132–144. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Beer, David. 2014. Popular Culture and New Media: The Politics of Circulation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  6. Berlant, Lauren. 2008. The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berlant, Lauren. 2011. Cruel Optimism. Durham, NC: Duke University Pres.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown, Vanessa. 2017. “Retailer David Jones in Hot Water over Facebook Apology.” News.com.au. Last Modified August 16. http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/retailer-david-jones-in-hot-water-over-facebook-apology/news-story/e386d6c8151458b47171de9cedc6794a. Accessed November 1, 2017.
  9. Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong. 2016. Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  10. Fraser, Nancy. 1990. “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy.” Social Text (25/26): 56–80.  https://doi.org/10.2307/466240.
  11. Gill, Rosalind, and Shani Orgad. 2015. “The Confidence Cult(ure).” Australian Feminist Studies 30 (86): 324–344.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08164649.2016.1148001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gitelman, Lisa. 2008. Always Already New: Media, History and the Data of Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hochschild, Arlie. 1983/2003. The Managed Heart: The Commercialisation of Human Feeling. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  14. Illouz, Eva. 2007. Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  15. Jarrett, Kylie. 2015. Feminism, Labour and Digital Media: The Digital Housewife. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Lazar, Michelle M. 2011. “The Right to Be Beautiful: Postfeminist Identity and Consumer Beauty Advertising.” In New Femininities: Postfeminism, Neoliberalism and Subjectivity, edited by Rosalind Gill and Christina Scharff, 37–51. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Marshall, P. David. 1997. Celebrity and Power: Fame in Contemporary Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  18. McRobbie, Angela. 2007. “Top Girls?: Young Women and the Post-Feminist Sexual Contract.” Cultural Studies 21 (4–5): 718–737.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09502380701279044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. McRobbie, Angela. 2009. The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. McRobbie, Angela. 2015. “Notes on the Perfect.” Australian Feminist Studies 30 (83): 3–20.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08164649.2015.1011485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pedwell, Carolyn. 2014. Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rosenblatt, Louise M. 1978. The Reader, the Text, the Poem. London: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Skeggs, Beverley. 2004. Class, Self, Culture. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Taylor, Jessica. 2016. “Laptops and Playpens: ‘Mommy Bloggers’ and Visions of Household Work.” In The Post-Fordist Sexual Contract: Living and Working in Contingency, edited by Lisa Adkins and Maryanne Dever, 109–128. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  25. Wetherell, Margaret. 2012. Affect and Emotion: A New Social Science Understanding. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akane Kanai
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Media, Film and JournalismMonash UniversityCaulfieldAustralia

Personalised recommendations