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Honey Money: The Power of Erotic Capital [Hardcover]

Catherine Hakim
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Aug 2011

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. The answer, this book shows, 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.

Dr Catherine Hakim's groundbreaking book reveals how erotic capital is just as influential in life as how rich, clever, educated or well-connected we are. Drawing on hard evidence, she illustrates 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.

Honey Money is a call for us to recognize the economic and social value of erotic capital, and truly acknowledge beauty and pleasure. This will not only change the role of women in society, getting them a better deal in both public and private life - it could also revolutionize our power structures, big business, the sex industry, government, marriage, education and almost everything we do.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (25 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846144191
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846144196
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Catherine Hakim is a British social scientist who has written extensively on women's issues, female employment, sex discrimination, and social and family policy. She has also published books on social statistics and research design. Her latest books develop a new theory of erotic capital as a personal asset, and its power in all social interaction, in the workplace and in public life as well as in the invisible negotiations of private relationships.

Photo: Charles Shearn

Product Description

About the Author

Dr 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 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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
1) Introducing Erotic Capital

Catherine Hakim - proudly displaying her own 'erotic capital' in a photograph on the dust jacket of the hardcover edition - introduces her concept of 'erotic capital' in this work, variously titled either 'Money Honey: the Power of Erotic Capital' or 'Erotic Capital: the Power of Attraction in the Boardroom and the Bedroom'. Both editions appear to be essentially identical. (Page numbers cited in the current review refer to the former edition.)

Hakim works hard to convince us that her concept of erotic capital is original. However, it appears to be little more than social science jargon for sex appeal - a new term invented for a familiar concept, introduced to disguise the lack of originality of Hakim's thesis. (One recalls Richard Dawkins's 'Law of the Conservation of Difficulty', whereby 'obscurantism in an academic subject expands to fill the vacuum of its intrinsic simplicity'.)

Hakim tries to substantiate her claim that erotic capital is broader than mere sex appeal by suggesting that even heterosexual people of the same sex admire and enjoy the company of individuals with high erotic capital, despite not being sexually attracted to them, claiming "women often admire other women who are exceptionally beautiful" and "men admire other men with exceptionally well-toned... bodies [and] handsome faces" (p153). However, I suspect people are just as often envious of and hence hostile towards people of the same sex whom they perceive as more sexually attractive than themselves.

Certainly economists and sociologists have often failed to recognise the importance of sexual attractiveness in human relations. However, this reflects the prejudices of economists and sociologists rather than the originality of the concept.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 25% interesting, 75% annoying. 18 Aug 2011
By Squeebles VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The basic premise of the book can be summed up in two sentences - Men don't get as much sex as they want, so women should play up to this in order to achieve their ambitions. Women should support other women in doing this and view it as a natural tool for achieving aims.

The book never really expands on that premise. It tours historical, religious and cultural reasons for the author's premise, but there's a lot of repetition with identical points being made over and over within a few pages of each other.

The author cites reams of evidence for her numerical data, but little for her wider assertions. For example, evidence that "surveys show greater diversity in sexual practices today" leads directly to the assumption "Male demands have increased to the point where women feel they are expected to perform to profession standards - including pole dancing and strip-tease". No other reasons for diversity are considered.

I'd also question the author's understanding of feminism, as the book suggests that feminist women that refuse to use their sexuality to exploit male weakness are `wrong' and feminism should be updated and corrected. That's quite a thing to claim of a 100 year old movement.

It's worth mentioning there's no hints and tips in the book, and there's certainly no guidance as to how to handle the career damage you could receive from workplace flirtation. It an academic textbook, not a how-to guide!

The book is interesting for the subject's cultural and historical background, and it's a very useful statistical reference, but it's hypothesis is as old as the hills and extrapolated further than cited evidence allows.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great title -- book not so good 10 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's no doubt that 'Honey Money -- The Power of Erotic Capital' is a great title for what is otherwise a fairly poorly argued book. Catherine Hakim's underlying thesis is that we should extend Bourdieu's concept of Social and Cultural capital, to go with Marx's Economic capital, to also include Erotic Capital. But, aside from stating that the fourth type of capital is erotic capital, she never advances any compelling arguments about why we should want to do this.

Hakim is somewhat conscious of the flaws in her own argument: she admits that erotic capital is very hard to measure (she argues that it should be measurable, it's just no-one has ever managed to measure it), and she admits that, unlike other kinds of capital, it is non-transferable. By this point the alert reader will be asking in what sense it is like Bourdieu's other kinds of capital at all. The wide-awake reader will also be wondering how Hakim feels able to build so assertively on Bourdieu's formulation, which is most commonly cited as an alternative view of Social Capital to Putnam's, but is otherwise not strongly supported by the evidence.

Evidence is something which Hakim is particularly weak on. She is very dismissive of evidence which doesn't support her view, and overly accommodating of surveys and studies which only support her view to a certain extent. From time to time she simply makes wild assertions, such as stating that sex workers have more erotic capital than ordinary people, without any indication as to what method she used to come to this conclusion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars If only!
If erotic capital is the secret to success, it's unsurprising that this woman's book has done so badly. Total junk.
Published 11 months ago by Compulsive Reader
1.0 out of 5 stars Stating the obvious
What a dreadful book - there is no insight beyond an extremely wordy way to say that sex sells and that pretty people can often do better in life next to their less attractive... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Kevin Hall
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed
As a woman who has sometimes struggled to make her way in the workplace, I find this a troubling book. Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2012 by Scheherazade
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money- avoid at all costs!
This is an ill thought-out collection of pointless assertions. The concept- that erotic capital is another social asset, like economic, social, cultural capital-is certainly... Read more
Published on 20 Mar 2012 by M. W. Hatfield
3.0 out of 5 stars good overview
I probably would have read this book anyway, but appreciated the complimentary Vine copy. I agree with other reviewers that the author makes some wild/unfounded claims, doesn't... Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2012 by D&D
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, don't be fooled by the title.
I am a participant in the Amazon Vine program. When I selected this book I was hoping to get an insight into the day-to-day sexual politics that we are all participants in. Read more
Published on 27 Jan 2012 by Peter Piper
3.0 out of 5 stars A few interesting points but nothing too new
With the attention grabbing title I thought I'd be in for a lot of interesting discussion about the intergration of "erotic capital" into the bulding of a successful brands or... Read more
Published on 20 Jan 2012 by joojeh99
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept but ............!
Interesting concept but somewhat stretched to book length as opposed to an article which would have served its cause far better. Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2012 by Alison Petrie
5.0 out of 5 stars insightful
very insightful, strong book. really got me thinking of the way how we present ourselves and what matters most in this world over the decades
Published on 10 Jan 2012 by Lena343
2.0 out of 5 stars Good concept but then meanders
Lyotard looked at the libidinal economy in a very dense book. This is a breeze in comparison and and on the face of it intriguing. It is however too abstract. Read more
Published on 3 Nov 2011 by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles
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