Cows on Facebook and Instagram: Interspecies Intimacy in the Social Media Spaces of the Swedish Dairy Industry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article analyzes producer-consumer relations in social media marketing in the Swedish dairy industry. The article discusses how ideas of interspecies intimacy are publicly performed in an interactive process between the dairy industry producers and social media users. Two examples from the Swedish dairy industry were chosen for analysis: one Instagram account and one Facebook account. The analysis shows how the pages are premised on spectacularly visualizing the emotional labor and performances of cows for capital accumulation. The dairy industry's social media presence encourages the media users to engage in building the perception that Swedish dairy farms represent an idyll where the cows are willing producers of the milk that is taken from them, and the dairy industry is loving, caring, and compassionate. Thus, the social media marketing represents a co-opting not only of the ideals of participation that social media holds but also of the ideals of ethical consumptions.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Information Systems, Social aspects

Keywords

  • critical animal studies, critical media studies, dairy industry, digital labor, social media
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-733
Number of pages15
JournalTelevision and New Media
Volume17
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes