This essay raises the possibility that participation in convergence culture may not enhance women's recreational pleasures, much less prepare them for public forms of political activity. Taking the Dr. Phil multimedia self-help franchise as a case study, we argue that women's 'interactivity' can be mobilized as a gendered requirement of neoliberal citizenship, that is, an ongoing, mundane regimen of self-empowerment that does not intensify the pleasure of the text as much as it intensifies and extends a 'second shift' of familial and affective labour historically performed by women in the home. The gendered labour of actively participating in the Dr. Phil television show, website, books and workbooks prohibits the fleeting pleasures and temporary distractions associated with earlier phases of domestic labour, such as soap operas and romance novels.
- Affective labour
- Media convergence