Dr. Jocelyn Elise Crowley – The life of the party: Entrepreneurial labor, sexual harassment, and the fashion industry

October 13, 2023


Sexual harassment is a serious problem that continues to affect primarily women in the United States workforce today. The modeling industry within cultural economy—which focuses on the production of goods and services chiefly for their aesthetic value—presents significant challenges in this area as predominantly young girls are working in a field dominated by powerful men. Female fashion models must engage in networking entrepreneurial labor in what I call “the party life” in order to obtain employment, keep their jobs, and secure future work. This study uses qualitative content analysis to map out how the party life leads to incidents of sexual harassment with both personal and professional consequences for fashion models using 20 distinct narratives. Implications for how the party life actually occurs in the modeling field on a daily basis and how entrepreneurial labor and gendered power relations interact to produce sexual harassment are discussed. Finally, recommendations for reform in the industry are detailed.

Jocelyn Elise Crowley. 2023. The life of the party: Entrepreneurial labor, sexual harassment, and the fashion industry, Women’s Studies International Forum, Volume 101, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2023.102825.

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