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Title: Cyber-femininities and commercial intimacy in blogshops
Authors: Abidin, C.
Thompson, E.C. 
Issue Date: Nov-2012
Citation: Abidin, C., Thompson, E.C. (2012-11). Cyber-femininities and commercial intimacy in blogshops. Women's Studies International Forum 35 (6) : 467-477. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Blogshops, online sites in which young women model and sell apparel via social media, have exploded onto the Singapore Internet scene. As an extremely popular form of e-commerce, blogshops have catapulted their owners and blogshop models to wealth and fame. The success of blogshops trades on commercial intimacies cultivated by blogshop models and the involvement of blogshop consumers in practices which economic anthropologist Robert Foster identifies as "value (co-)creation." Whereas Foster and others have examined the creation of mass-mediated product intimacy around items such as detergents and soft drinks, we argue that in blogshops the micro-mediated (co-)creation of value rests on persona intimacy. Value (co-)creation does not focus on products per se. Rather it takes place around the online "micro-celebrity" of blogshop models and senses of homo-social intimacy between the persona of models and their audience of readers-cum-consumers. This focus on blogshop models' persona implicates both models and consumers in a homo-social discourse around emphasized femininities, in which women's bodies are subjected to a refracted male gaze carried out by women in the absence of men. This discourse within the commercial sphere produces powerful and disciplining effects for both blogshop consumers and the models themselves, thus highlighting deeply gendered intersections of femininity and commerce in online processes of value (co-)creation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Women's Studies International Forum
ISSN: 02775395
DOI: 10.1016/j.wsif.2012.10.005
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