Helpers in the New Economy



What 21st century occupation exemplifies a set of skills needed in a new market—accessibility, salesmanship, flexibility, and strength? How does one theorize affective relationships and labor? Examining the rise of the occupation of personal training, focusing particularly on the relationship between affective labor and market shifts that have led to job insecurity, this essay examines the fast rising occupation of personal training, asking questions about its occupational nature, its growth and popularity, its movement from everyday life to entertainment, and finally its relationship with self help and “helping” genres of both literature and fitness.