Within the so-called seduction community, the ability to meet and attract women is understood as a skill which heterosexual men can cultivate through practical training and personal development. Though it has been an object of media speculation – and frequent sensationalism – for over a decade, this cultural formation remains poorly understood.
In the first book-length study of the industry, Rachel O’Neill takes us into the world of seduction seminars, training events, instructional guidebooks and video tutorials. Pushing past established understandings of ‘pickup artists’ as pathetic, pathological or perverse, she examines what makes seduction so compelling for those drawn to participate in this sphere.
Seduction vividly portrays how the twin rationalities of neoliberalism and postfeminism are reorganising contemporary intimate life, as labour-intensive and profit-orientated modes of sociality consume other forms of being and relating. It is essential reading for students and scholars of gender, sexuality, sociology and cultural studies, as well as anyone who wants to understand the seduction industry’s overarching logics and internal workings.
About Rachel O’Neill
Dr Rachel O’Neill is on research leave during Michaelmas Term 2022.
Dr Rachel O’Neill is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE.
Dr O’Neill is a feminist media and cultural studies scholar specialising in gender and sexuality. Her research centers questions of subjectivity and inequality, primarily in the contemporary UK context but with attention to transnational circulations of culture and capital. She is the author of Seduction: Men, Masculinity and Mediated Intimacy, published by Polity in 2018. Her work has appeared in journals including Feminist Theory, Television and New Media, and European Journal of Cultural Studies.
Prior to joining the Department, Dr O’Neill was a Research Fellow in Sociology at the University of Warwick. She received her PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies from King’s College London.
gender and sexuality; media and cultural studies; ethnography; qualitative methods; feminist theory
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