Camgirls: celebrity and community in the age of social by Theresa M. Senft

By Theresa M. Senft

This publication is a serious and ethnographic research of camgirls: ladies who broadcast themselves over the net for most people whereas attempting to domesticate a degree of superstar within the approach. The book’s over-arching query is, «What does it suggest for feminists to talk about the non-public as political in a networked society that encourages ladies to ‘represent’ via confession, star, and sexual demonstrate, yet punishes an excessive amount of visibility with conservative censure and backlash?» The narrative follows that of the camgirl phenomenon, starting with the earliest experiments in own homecamming and finishing with the most recent sorts of id and neighborhood being articulated via social networking websites like stay magazine, YouTube, MySpace, and fb. it's grounded in interviews, functionality research of occasions transpiring among camgirls and their audience, and the author’s personal reports as an ersatz camgirl whereas accomplishing the learn.

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48 As viewer Jason Thrice points out, this fidelity is linked to politics of representation: In the reality-television shows, they edit out the boring parts to package what’s going to sell. But who makes that decision? Not the actors. Where in homecamming, they’ve got the direct power to turn off the cam, cover it up, reposition it or walk out of the room. 49 A number of critics (including Mulvey herself) have modified their position regarding film consumption and the male gaze since 1975. Today, most film theorists understand that sexuality, race, class, education, ability, and nationality may all alter spectators’ identifications with the look of the camera, making it impossible to say what a viewing experience ‘means’ for every viewer.

47 Is the filmic gaze the webcam’s gaze? Sometimes, it does seem that being a camgirl is similar to acting in your own movie or starring on your own reality television show. Yet there are at least four ways in which camgirls differ from film actresses or participants in reality TV. First, with few exceptions, camgirls are not subjected to directors or producers, but instead film themselves. Second, the Web’s model of broadcasting is not one-tomany, as with film and television, but many-to-many.

When Shah accuses us of “spending time on this,” his objective is to shame us by calling us bad consumers. Good revolutionary shoppers know there is only so much time to spend, and we are wasting it. But what if I take a page from my street-team students and think of my time not in terms of consumption, but of labor? I will never be optimistic enough to think my time labor can progressively influence large corporations like Sony or Nike, or the US Army, but I might be willing to believe that the labor I spend making connections with others online is an investment, rather than a waste.

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