“You kind of have to bite the bullet and do bitch work”: How internships teach students to unthink exploitation in public relations

Michelle Lyn Rodino, Stephanie N. Beberick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Based on critical analysis of three focus groups with PR students at Penn State, we argue that describing PR internships as “bitch work” highlights key material and ideological lessons about labour, gender, and exploitation. Analysing interviews of PR interns through Marxist and feminist perspectives, we explain the dynamics of viewing PR internships as “bitch work.” We discuss how internships come to signify good luck in a lottery-like market while also instilling a love of work and the hope that “good work” will follow “bitch work.” Such lessons, furthermore, teach interns to unthink work, our phraseology for the ideological process of viewing internships as almost-but-not-quite labour. We conclude with a call to rethink internships as work, recognize the gendered exploitation of interns, and compensate interns for their real labour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-500
Number of pages15
JournalTripleC
Volume13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

Public relations
internship
exploitation
Personnel
Students
student
labor
love
gender
market
interview

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this

@article{782ad9df727a41e0afc316b967e273f6,
title = "“You kind of have to bite the bullet and do bitch work”: How internships teach students to unthink exploitation in public relations",
abstract = "Based on critical analysis of three focus groups with PR students at Penn State, we argue that describing PR internships as “bitch work” highlights key material and ideological lessons about labour, gender, and exploitation. Analysing interviews of PR interns through Marxist and feminist perspectives, we explain the dynamics of viewing PR internships as “bitch work.” We discuss how internships come to signify good luck in a lottery-like market while also instilling a love of work and the hope that “good work” will follow “bitch work.” Such lessons, furthermore, teach interns to unthink work, our phraseology for the ideological process of viewing internships as almost-but-not-quite labour. We conclude with a call to rethink internships as work, recognize the gendered exploitation of interns, and compensate interns for their real labour.",
author = "Rodino, {Michelle Lyn} and Beberick, {Stephanie N.}",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "13",
pages = "486--500",
journal = "TripleC",
issn = "1726-670X",
publisher = "Unified Theory of Information Research Group",
number = "2",

}

“You kind of have to bite the bullet and do bitch work” : How internships teach students to unthink exploitation in public relations. / Rodino, Michelle Lyn; Beberick, Stephanie N.

In: TripleC, Vol. 13, No. 2, 01.01.2015, p. 486-500.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - “You kind of have to bite the bullet and do bitch work”

T2 - How internships teach students to unthink exploitation in public relations

AU - Rodino, Michelle Lyn

AU - Beberick, Stephanie N.

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - Based on critical analysis of three focus groups with PR students at Penn State, we argue that describing PR internships as “bitch work” highlights key material and ideological lessons about labour, gender, and exploitation. Analysing interviews of PR interns through Marxist and feminist perspectives, we explain the dynamics of viewing PR internships as “bitch work.” We discuss how internships come to signify good luck in a lottery-like market while also instilling a love of work and the hope that “good work” will follow “bitch work.” Such lessons, furthermore, teach interns to unthink work, our phraseology for the ideological process of viewing internships as almost-but-not-quite labour. We conclude with a call to rethink internships as work, recognize the gendered exploitation of interns, and compensate interns for their real labour.

AB - Based on critical analysis of three focus groups with PR students at Penn State, we argue that describing PR internships as “bitch work” highlights key material and ideological lessons about labour, gender, and exploitation. Analysing interviews of PR interns through Marxist and feminist perspectives, we explain the dynamics of viewing PR internships as “bitch work.” We discuss how internships come to signify good luck in a lottery-like market while also instilling a love of work and the hope that “good work” will follow “bitch work.” Such lessons, furthermore, teach interns to unthink work, our phraseology for the ideological process of viewing internships as almost-but-not-quite labour. We conclude with a call to rethink internships as work, recognize the gendered exploitation of interns, and compensate interns for their real labour.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84943261850&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84943261850&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84943261850

VL - 13

SP - 486

EP - 500

JO - TripleC

JF - TripleC

SN - 1726-670X

IS - 2

ER -