Vocational Embodiments of the Precariat in The Girlfriend Experience and Magic Mike

Michelle Stewart, Jason Pine


Recent works by Steven Soderbergh present a symptomatology of contemporary economic culture in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. These films follow the peculiarities of the present crisis and what it feels like to inhabit a fraught economic culture. More specifically, Soderbergh pays close attention to the overinvestment of the self in vocation—what we are calling vocational embodiment—for the production of value that is never quite materialized and never quite paid out. In these films, the main protagonists embody future states of their own imagining, promises of self-realization that lead them to unwittingly enact their own subjectivization.

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