Creative London? Investigating New Modalities of Work in the Cultural Industries

Creative London? Investigating New Modalities of Work in the Cultural Industries

David Lee (Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-949-6.ch267
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Abstract

This chapter considers the emergence of the discourse of creativity in contemporary economic, political, and social life, and the characteristics of emerging labour markets in the cultural industries. In particular it is concerned with analysing the working experiences of a number of individuals working in the cultural industries in London. Using a critical theoretical framework of understanding, it examines the importance of cultural capital, subjectivisation, governmentality, network sociality, and individualization as key concepts for understanding the experience of labour in the creative economy. This chapter considers how creative individuals negotiate the precarious, largely freelance, deregulated and de-unionised terrain of contemporary work. As the economic becomes increasingly inflected by the cultural in contemporary social life, the terrain of experience of individuals working in these expanding sectors has been neglected in cultural studies. This chapter seeks to critically intervene in this area, arguing that the “creative” turn in contemporary discourse can be seen to mask emergent inequalities and exploitative practices in the post-industrial employment landscape.

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