The press has paid a lot of attention to Catherine Hakim’s concept of “erotic capital,” perhaps partly because the stories have claimed that she works at the respected London School of Economics. (See earlier posts here and here.) But the LSE now wants to distance themselves from her work:
Catherine Hakim’s Honey Money: The Power of Erotic Capital garnered some hostile reviews after it was published by Allen Lane last month, with many commentators aghast that an LSE sociologist should advocate that women use their sexual assets to get ahead.
The book’s title is inspired by the catchphrase used by prostitutes in Jakarta who ask for cash upfront for sex – with women advised to exploit their own “erotic capital” to gain professional success.
It has now emerged that Ms Hakim’s links to the LSE are perhaps looser than had been suggested. Although she is described as a “senior research Fellow of sociology” at the LSE on the book’s dust jacket and in subsequent book reviews, Times Higher Education has learned that Ms Hakim has not been employed there since 2003.
She had, with the agreement of the school, continued to work from an LSE office and use email, telephone and other clerical-support facilities – despite not being part of the sociology faculty.
The institution has now written to Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin, asking it to correct further publications, while Ms Hakim has been asked by the LSE not to refer to herself as an LSE sociologist, THE understands.
One might wonder what would have happened had the book been good or not invoked a scandalous argument.
Additionally, if the reviews of this book have been scathing, why has it gotten so much press? Just because it is a “sexy” topic?