Digital work: Self-branding and social capital in the freelance knowledge economy

Publication by Alessandro Gandini , , , , , , ,
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Abstract in English:

Existing research shows that self-branding in the knowledge economy is a key promotional device for the pursuit of self-realization in a context that reifies entrepreneurialism as the main ideological stance. However, there is still reluctance to fully acknowledge the processes of sociality that constitute self-branding practice. While the relationship between branding and the affective dynamics of social production of value fostered by the diffusion of Web 2.0 is widely acknowledged in the literature, there still seems to be a lack of understanding of the extent to which self-branding relates to social relationships in the production of socialized value for individuals. The study of self-branding practices across digital freelance professions in the knowledge economy reveals how social media has come to represent a working tool that serves the curation of a professional image and the management of social relationships via the enactment of performative practices of sociality, which exist around a shared notion of reputation as value. Here, self-branding becomes an investment in social relationships with expected return for the acquisition of a reputation. This substantially equates self-branding with what social theory calls social capital, being instrumental to secure employment in the freelance-based labour market of the digital knowledge economy.

Open Access? No

Journal Marketing Theory
Publication Year 2015
Volume 16 issue: 1
Publisher SAGE Journals

DOI 1741-301X

English | Discipline Sociology