Finishing my PhD and I Cant See the Wood for the Trees


This final part of the PhD is really difficult. It is not about the number of words or reading more. It is about writing the final sentences and getting it just right. Or at least feeling that’s it is good enough.

But honestly, I can’t see the wood for the trees.

So I’ve taking my supervisor’s advice (as always), and I’ve decided to write a few paragraphs as if someone was quoting me. In other words, as if someone is writing about cultural entrepreneurship and including my work in their literature review. For instance,

According to Naudin (2014), cultural entrepreneurship is….

I’ve written several sentences which might not make sense as a whole but I just needed to have a go at articulating the essence of the research.

Naudin’s (2014) study of the lived experience of cultural entrepreneurship explores the specificity of entrepreneurial modes of work based on everyday practices. The manner in which cultural entrepreneurs develop routines and structure their time. How family commitments are managed, making the most of the flexibility which self-employment can offer to organise childcare and unconventional working hours. Naudin (2014) finds that cultural entrepreneurs have a measured approach to managing risk, making decisions with partners and in relation to norms within their network.

Stereotypes of the entrepreneur are problematised. The hero entrepreneur is re-imagined beyond the caricature usually associated with a neo-liberal policies. While stereotypes endure and are pervasive in the discourse of cultural work, this creates a space for oppositional models and alternative structures to emerge. Naudin (2014) highlights the quiet, social and female entrepreneur as expressing different narratives.

Furthermore, Naudin argues that cultural entrepreneurs are engaged in more than their direct practice. For instance, there is enormous loyalty to the local area and to others in the network. Individuals operate within a messy environment which they help to shape, as part of becoming a cultural entrepreneur.

According to Naudin (2014), the relational context in which these narratives are formed is a fluid space which comprises of personal agency and structure. Structures are not fixed and alternative structures can be formed through agentic actions, usually in a social milieu. Individual identities are constructed and performed, drawing from the rhetoric of cultural policy and entrepreneurship but also in opposition to dominant discourses. By utilising her position within her local network, Naudin (2014) has sought to reveal the complexity of cultural entrepreneurship, in all its messiness. There are plenty of contradictions including both an acceptance and rejection of networking. Within the network, cultural entrepreneurs stimulate debate, experimentation, support and alternative actions.

Apart from the fact that it feels a little weird, I think it has been helpful. Now I just need to go back to the thesis and finish the conclusion!

    • paullongmedia
    • November 1st, 2014

    Imagine talking like this on a permanent basis! I’d be interested to read your thoughts on this post several months after submission!

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