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Creative influencers – empowering strategies in a precarious labor market.

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Åsa Andersson
Publicerad i “Creating a sustainable future of work in the Nordic Countries”, Nordic Work Life Conference 2018. Oslo, Norway, June 13-15 2018
Publiceringsår 2018
Publicerad vid Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper
Språk en
Ämnesord atypical work, self-employment, creative work, instability
Ämneskategorier Annan humaniora, Annan samhällsvetenskap


The 2008 financial crisis caused a substantial increase in new forms of employment, and for some young people, the crisis also meant marginalization and exclusion from the labor market. From the employer's horizons, this change is often regarded as a development towards a flexible labor market, while for workers' horizons it often leads to increased insecurity. One of the concepts that describe this is 'GIG economy'; permanent employment is replaced by temporary gigs. Changed economic and political conditions both produce new jobs and new forms of marginalization on the labor market. Within this field of tension, young female, self-employed freelancers are in the process of finding new ways of arranging employment and working life through a combination of creative work interweaved by blogging and other social media activities. Departing from a Nordic qualitative interview- study on young workers in atypical/nonstandard employments, the aim of this paper is to explore how young women, in Sweden, professionally engaged in different kind of creative work, form empowering strategies for independence and satisfying working conditions for themselves on a precarious labour market. The young women identify themselves with the label ‘influencer’, which means being active on social media platforms and influencing a great range of users. Their working life is characterized by strong autonomy which gives possibilities for following their creative interests but which also means economic and sometimes social instability. Their strategies implicate a balancing act in the highly individualized and competition driven climate of neoliberal entrepreneurialism on the one hand and more idea-driven incentives focusing on empowering women and ecological and social sustainability on the other. Being able to master the ideal of the enterprising self (du Gay 1996) is crucial in this respect and so is also the ability to act according to the terms prevalent in the anticipatory economy where value is produced in terms of future expectations and potentialities (Mäkinen 2015).

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