Romanticisation and monetisation of the digital nomad lifestyle: The role played by online narratives in shaping professional identity work

Claudine Bonneau, Jeremy Aroles, Claire Estagnasié

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Some occupations are subject to more complex identity work processes than others. This rings true for those professional endeavours that are relatively poorly known and that cannot rely on institutions as a reference for identification, such as digital nomadism. Digital nomads can broadly be defined as professionals who embrace extreme forms of mobile work to combine their interest in travel with the possibility to work remotely. Building on a two-stage data collection process, this paper proposes a typology that characterises four archetypes of digital nomad lifestyle promoters’ narratives found online and show how these online narratives play a role in the process of identity work of other digital nomads. Our contributions are two-fold. First, we show that while the archetypes act as an important online identity regulatory force, they do so through dis-identification. Second, we explain how identity work for digital nomads involves evaluating discursively available subjectivities and propose a three-step reflexive process that entails (i) interpreting, (ii) dis-identifying and (iii) contextualising. We contend that our findings extend beyond the specific case of digital nomads and shed light onto the intricacies of work identity for ‘new’ occupations that are romanticised and monetised through social media and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-88
Number of pages24
Issue number1
Early online date29 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2023

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