Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Anirban Baishya, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Caley Johnson, Ph.D.


Social Media is one of the most significant agents of influence on minds, thus it is not surprising that many individuals are becoming entrepreneurial by becoming Influencers to monetize the seemingly easy job. I focus on the evolving labor conditions related to influencers while expanding on Maurizio Lazzarato’s Marxist framework of immaterial labor to investigate connotations of the platform economy. I expand upon a concise literature review on the link between the acceleration of entrepreneurial endeavors and Social Media, the concepts of influencing as labor coined by Crystal Abidin, micro-celebrities, self-branding, and a discussion of immaterial labor to provide a framework for theoretical reference. I selected North America and South Asia for the case studies due to personal identification with both regions. The influential figures of Lilly Singh, Bethany Mota, Juhi Godambe, and Aashna Shroff are studied in depth because these are prolific individuals in this field of work. I conclude that female creators’ utilization of Social Media as media entrepreneurs in a globalized world indicates the changing labor conditions and the types of currencies that are valued at large. However, hierarchical obstacles combined with the ethos of self-branding perpetuate a neoliberal economy’s principles. This is an essential and relevant study because it is a large field of scholarship that has not been studied in which influencers are evaluated through the lens of entrepreneurs. Moreover, Social Media’s pertinence in our lives will only intensify with time.

Included in

Social Media Commons