Why do some people seem to lead charmed lives? They are attractive, but also lively, friendly and charismatic. People want to be around them. Doors open for them. According to Catherine Hakim, the answer is in the power of erotic capital – the overlooked human asset that is at the heart of how we work, interact, make money, succeed and conduct our relationships. Hakim’s groundbreaking book, Honey Money: The Power of Erotic Capital, reveals how this potent force develops from an early age, with attractive children assumed to be intelligent, competent and good. She examines how women and men learn to exploit it throughout their lives, how it differs across cultures and how it affects all spheres of activity, from dating and mating to politics, business, film, music, the arts and sport. She also explores why erotic capital is growing in importance in today’s highly sexualised culture and yet, ironically, as a ‘feminine’ virtue, remains sidelined. By recognising the economic and social value of erotic capital, the role of women in society will not only be changed, Hakim claims, getting them a better deal in both public and private life, but could also revolutionise power structures, big business, the sex industry, government, marriage, education and almost everything we do.
Catherine Hakim is a Senior Research Fellow of Sociology at the LSE. She is an expert on the sociology of the labour market, changing social attitudes, women’s employment and theories of women’s position in society. She has published numerous academic works and papers. Her theory of erotic capital, now provided in detail in Honey Money, was first advanced in a paper for Oxford University’s European Social Research journal. It has received much media and academic interest from around the world.
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