The Work of Seduction

The Centre for Work, Organisation and Society is delighted to welcome Dr Rachel O'Neill to our weekly seminar series to present her paper, titled 'The Work of Seduction'

  • Wed 30 Jan 19

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Dr Rachel O'Neill

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    The Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Professor Phillip Hancock

This seminar aims to stimulate an interesting academic discussion about seduction.

Seminar abstract

Within the cultural formation known as the ‘seduction community’, the ability to meet and attract women is understood as a skill that heterosexual men can cultivate through practical training and personal development. Drawing on ethnographic research undertaken within this setting, in this paper I discuss how seduction functions as a system of expertise for the management of sexual encounters and intimate relationships. I focus particularly on dynamics of emotional orchestration, as those who engage seduction expertise are taught how to engineer intimacy and conjure trust. In doing so I address larger questions about the ways in which neoliberal rationalities are reshaping dynamics of attraction and desire, sex and romance, lust and love. I argue that, far from being anomalous, the seduction community extends a broader systematisation of sex in progress from the mid-twentieth century onward.


This is an open event, there is no need to book. Please feel free to bring your colleagues, classmates and friends.

Speaker bio

Dr Rachel O’Neill is LSE Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research examines the relationship between culture and subjectivity through a feminist lens, using ethnographic methods to explore how gendered subjectivities are forged in and through wider social currents. She is the author of Seduction: Men, Masculinity and Mediated Intimacy (Polity, 2018).

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