ALGORITMISK INTERVENTION Om kulturarbetares arbete med Instagram

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper

Sammanfattning: The topic of this study is the introduction of social networking sites as an arena for personal advertising in the culture industries. Through a case study on cultural workers’ digital labour on Instagram, the study examines the ways in which a social networking site such as Instagram disciplines its users with regard to labour time as well as cultural production. Theempirical data consist of interviews with cultural workers who use Instagram as a platform for personal marketing. A Marxist framework is applied to interpret the labour that cultural workers carry out in order to become visible on Instagram. In addition to this, the study uses the concept of discipline, interpreting the technical infrastructure of Instagram as adisciplinary technique. The study shows that cultural workers are compelled to continuously spend time networking and monitoring their personal brands on Instagram in order to optimize visibility and thereby increase their job opportunities. The technical infrastructure of Instagram disciplines its users to construct a publicizable persona, to network affectively and to create a personal niche. Furthermore, the study shows that Instagram dictates when and how a user should interact on the platform in order to maximize visibility. For the cultural worker, these tasks account for longer working days while at the same time being uncompensated labour. With regard to cultural production, the study shows that the technical infrastructure of Instagram aggravates critical cultural production. This is due to the way this technical infrastructure rewards content which is in line with Instagram’s goals. The resultsalso show a difference in attitude towards this labour in men and women. Where women embrace the narrative of using Instagram as vehicle for marketing, men resist this label to a higher degree.

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