The rising popularity of the social media influencer has significantly reshaped culture, the flow of information, and the way we relate to ourselves and each other. In an increasingly fractured and profit-driven communication environment, influencers—whose progenitors once seemed to have the authenticity that traditional media lacked—are now ubiquitous in our primary sources of information, entertainment, and consumer goods. In this video, PUP Speaks author Emily Hund, author of The Influencer Industry, reveals how the people we think of as “real” are merely those who have learned to exploit a multibillion-dollar industry’s ever-shifting constructions of authenticity and security. In doing so, Hund shines a light on how the rise of this industry has dramatically altered that way popular culture is produced, marketed, and consumed.
About the Author
Emily Hund is a research affiliate at the Center on Digital Culture and Society at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and a consultant to industry, academic, and government groups. Her work has appeared in leading publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, and the Guardian.