‘Posting sexy images and still being respected as a woman'

Perspectives on human and non-human influencers

Authored by: Magdalena Petersson McIntyre

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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Influencers who post details about intimate and personal information as a backdrop to consumer products and services have become progressively powerful in shaping contemporary consumer culture. Influencers can be seen as assemblages that are formed between humans and technology, in which consumption is promoted by linking human taste preferences, inspiration, emotional engagement, and personal ties to technical tools and functions. This chapter presents different ways in which we can understand the phenomenon of ‘the influencer’ so that we can further comprehend why these socio-technical assemblages have become so popular and influential, and how they have transformed the fields of consumption and marketing. The majority of influencers who collaborate with consumer brands and products are women who readily lend out their lives as environments for product placement. The large numbers of followers, who are interested in what influencers do, say something important about consumer culture in the 21st century. The chapter gives an overview of the research on influencers in order to present possible ways of understanding this phenomenon and situates the influencer phenomenon in the context of post-humanism.

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