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The Work of Seduction: Intimacy and Subjectivity in the London 'Seduction Community'

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JournalSOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ONLINE
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Jul 2015
DatePublished (current) - 30 Nov 2015
Issue number4
Volume20
Pages (from-to)Online
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper explores negotiations of intimate and sexual subjectivity among men involved in the London 'seduction community', a central locus within what is more properly regarded as a community-industry. Herein, heterosexual men undertake various forms of skills training and personal development in order to gain greater choice and control in their relationships with women. As an entry point to this discussion I consider the international media event that enveloped American 'pickup artist' Julien Blanc in November 2014. Shifting focus away from the cultural figure of the 'pickup artist' and onto socially located men, I attempt to complicate a dominant narrative that characterises men who participate in this community-industry as pathetic, pathological or perverse. This analysis makes use of extensive ethnographic research undertaken within the London seduction community, and examines how men who participate in this setting engage a mode of intimate and sexual subjectivity ordered by themes of management and enterprise. Ultimately I argue that the central logics of the seduction community are not dissonant from but are in fact consistent with broader reconfigurations of intimacy and sexuality taking place in the contemporary UK context.

Bibliographical note

This article was published as a result of research undertaken while I was a PhD candidate at King's College London.

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