From Visual Discipline to Love-Work: The Feminising of Photographic Expertise in the Age of Social Media

  • Karen Cross
Part of the Dynamics of Virtual Work book series (DVW)


Recently published photography training manuals focus attention on the diversifying outlets of social media, ranging from the use of Twitter by the so-called citizen journalists to Instagram by artists and entrepreneurs. This chapter looks at shifting gender dynamics in this context while exploring the trend towards relationality now defining digital labour. The formula of ‘love-work’ compounds the previously neglected concerns of the amateur with professional values and expresses the new terms of social media practice as it promises to mitigate historical losses, especially those relating to the domestic and familial concerns of women, albeit in a potentially melancholic way. This illuminates how the online exchange of images through social networks rearticulates precarious and unstructured forms of labour hitherto associated with women’s work.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Cross
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Media, Culture and LanguageUniversity of RoehamptonLondonUK

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