Capitalist Subjectivity, Tinder, and the Emotionalization of the Web

Authored by: Eva Illouz , Dan M. Kotliar

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Consumption

Print publication date:  September  2022
Online publication date:  September  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032329598
eBook ISBN: 9781003317524
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the role emotions play in contemporary capitalism, and the complex interconnections between emotions, dating apps, and capitalist markets. Drawing on work on the commodification of emotions and the constitution of capitalist subjects, and on the online economy of emotions, this chapter offers a critical analysis of Tinder and the techno-commodification of emotional life. The authors show that such dating apps are deeply disruptive of previous modes of sociality and identify five key issues that characterize this disruption: (1) the visualized self, (2) velocity and abundance, (3) networked interactivity, (4) evaluative reasoning, and (5) dividuated eroticism. Lastly, it is argued that in order to understand the ties between contemporary capitalism and the internet, we need to understand the role emotions play in this process, as well as the ways in which value gets algorithmically extracted from our innermost beings.

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