In recent years, cultural work has engaged the interest of scholars from a broad range of social science and humanities disciplines. The debate in this ‘turn to cultural work’ has largely been based around evaluating its advantages and disadvantages: its freedoms and its constraints, its informal but precarious nature, the inequalities within its global workforce, and the blurring of work–life boundaries leading to ‘self-exploitation’.
While academic critics have persuasively challenged more optimistic accounts of ‘converged’ worlds of creative production, the critical debate on cultural work has itself leant heavily towards suggesting a profoundly new confluence of forces and effects. Theorizing Cultural Work instead views cultural work through a specifically historicized and temporal lens, to ask: what novelty can we actually attach to current conditions, and precisely what relation does cultural work have to social precedent? The contributors to this volume also explore current transformations and future(s) of work within the cultural and creative industries as they move into an uncertain future.
This book challenges more affirmative and proselytising industry and academic perspectives, and the pervasive cult of novelty that surrounds them, to locate cultural work as an historically and geographically situated process. It will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology, cultural studies, human geography, urban studies and industrial relations, as well as management and business studies, cultural and economic policy and development, government and planning.
1. Introduction: Cultural Work, Time and Trajectory by Mark Banks, Rosalind Gill and Stephanie Taylor Part One: Histories 2. Precarious Labour Then and Now: The British Arts and Crafts Movement and Cultural Work Revisited by Susan Luckman 3. Cultural Work and Antisocial Psychology by Sarah Brouillette 4. Hired Hands, Liars, Schmucks: Histories of Screenwriting Work and Workers in Contemporary Screen Production by Bridget Conor 5. Absentee Workers: Representation and Participation in the Cultural Industries by Kate Oakley Part Two: Specificities/Transformations 6. Specificity, Ambivalence, and the Commodity Form of Creative Work by Matt Stahl 7. How Special? Cultural Work, Copyright, Politics by Jason Toynbee 8. Logistics of Cultural Work by Brett Neilson 9. Learning from Luddites: Media Labor, Technology and Life Below the Line by Richard Maxwell and Toby Miller 10. Presence Bleed: Performing Professionalism Online by Melissa Gregg Part Three: Futures 11. Feminist Futures of Cultural Work? Creativity, Gender and Difference in the Digital Media Sector by Sarah B. Proctor-Thomson 12. Creativity, Biography and the Time of Individualization by Lisa Adkins 13. Professional Identity and Media Work by Mark Deuze and Nicky Lewis 14. Theorizing Cultural Work: An Interview with the Editors by Andrew Ross. References.
This series establishes the importance of innovative contemporary, comparative and historical work on the relations between social, cultural and economic change. It publishes empirically-based research that is theoretically informed, that critically examines the ways in which social, cultural and economic change is framed and made visible, and that is attentive to perspectives that tend to be ignored or side-lined by grand theorising or epochal accounts of social change. The series addresses the diverse manifestations of contemporary capitalism, and considers the various ways in which the `social', `the cultural' and `the economic' are apprehended as tangible sites of value and practice. It is explicitly comparative, publishing books that work across disciplinary perspectives, cross-culturally, or across different historical periods.
We are particularly focused on publishing books in the following areas that fit with the broad remit of the series:
The series is actively engaged in the analysis of the different theoretical traditions that have contributed to critiques of the `cultural turn'. We are particularly interested in perspectives that engage with Bourdieu, Foucauldian approaches to knowledge and cultural practices, Actor-network approaches, and with those that are associated with issues arising from Deleuze's work around complexity, affect or topology. The series is equally concerned to explore the new agendas emerging from current critiques of the cultural turn: those associated with the descriptive turn for example. Our commitment to interdisciplinarity thus aims at enriching theoretical and methodological discussion, building awareness of the common ground has emerged in the past decade, and thinking through what is at stake in those approaches that resist integration to a common analytical model.