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Platformised possessions and relational labour.

Denegri-Knott, J., Jenkins, R., Molesworth, M. and Grigore, G., 2023. Platformised possessions and relational labour. Marketing Theory. (In Press)

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denegri-knott-et-al-2023-platformised-possessions-and-relational-labour.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1177/14705931231201783


In this article, we focus on relational labour as a form of emotional labour associated with the use of platformised possessions, such as pins, messages, photos, videos and playlists hosted on digital platforms, to maintain relationships with friends and family. We argue that this ongoing effort is a type of consumer labour because it generates profitable engagements for digital platforms, which intentionally exploit negative emotions, namely, anxiety and guilt, associated with maintaining social connections. Drawing on 47 depth interviews with people living in the South of the UK, we identify the direct (communication via platforms) and indirect (information gathered via platforms to attain relational goals) relational work undertaken by consumers via their platformised possessions. We then consider the emotional experiences related to this work, demonstrating how such experiences differ from reports of possession work on material goods, while maintaining platform profits. Recognising that this work is the basis of much platform engagement, and hence profit, we further show how this effort becomes a form of unpaid labour. We thus contribute to the nascent literature on platformisation and emotion, to broader studies of possession work, and to critical marketing scholarship on consumer labour.

Item Type:Article
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:39031
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:02 Oct 2023 12:23
Last Modified:02 Oct 2023 12:23


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