Archive for the ‘ Cultural industries ’ Category

Cultural Entrepreneurship: New Perspectives for Entrepreneurship Studies

From the perspective of entrepreneurship studies, my research reflects a growing appeal for non-conventional aspects of entrepreneurship to be studied as a means of developing a closer understanding or even ‘surprising’ the academic field of entrepreneurship (Hjorth and Steyaert, 2006, p. 3). A critical perspective on current depictions of entrepreneurship can act as a catalyst for seeking new narratives. Hjorth and Steyaert’s book includes a study of indigenous people from deprived communities who change their socio-economic circumstances by rebuilding their community through entrepreneurial practice, thereby demonstrating their ability to control their future and challenge dominant views of their socio-cultural identity (Anderson et al., 2006, p.56). Continue reading

Applying ‘fields’ and ‘habitus’ to Researching Cultural Entrepreneurs

As part of my research of Birmingham based cultural entrepreneurs, I aim to highlight the context in which they operate by outlining some key policies and selecting a few important developments and projects. I identify that cultural entrepreneurs are not working in a vacuum but that the language of enterprise, an emphasis on economic development and the role of the cultural industries as part of the city is an important factor in the space of production.

Bourdieu’s notion of a ‘fields of production’ is revealed through the policies, powerful agencies and is linked to ‘habitus’ represented by the networks of individual cultural entrepreneurs who play a role in influencing the ‘field’ by creating their own projects, blogs and events. There is a sense that spaces associated with the cultural industries, either through individuals or through policy making, have much in common. But which comes first, the strategy or the activities of cultural entrepreneurs? Continue reading

Position yourself

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I’ve just about finished my literature review and I’m feeling more confident about my ‘position’. The literature review is my first chapter and here is the introduction:

This chapter outlines the context for an exploration of cultural entrepreneurship. I draw on the academic disciplines of cultural studies, cultural policy studies and entrepreneurship to present different perspectives on the relationship between creative workers and entrepreneurial modes of work.

Critical debates, predominantly from cultural studies have sought to expose the paradox between on the one hand, a celebration of entrepreneurial and flexible work and on the other hand, evidence of self-exploitation (Hesmondhalgh and Baker, 2011, p.70-75). Many cultural studies critics depict policies embracing entrepreneurship as evidence of neo-liberal capitalism at play. In contrast, less politicized academics, view the focus on the cultural industries and enterprise as an opportunity to consider new working practices.

The literature associated with these polarized views forms the basis of this chapter and presents the conceptual framework for this research. My aim is firstly, to present key arguments that have shaped research on cultural entrepreneurship. Secondly, I hope to reveal clear distinctions between academic disciplines in terms of approach and purpose. And finally, I draw from both critical research and new movements in entrepreneurship to inform the basis for my empirical study.

 

Trying to work out the key question

As I am getting closer to the MPhil upgrade and submitting a more detailed proposal, I have started to focus on the key question to be explored in my PhD research.

What is the nature of entrepreneurship in cultural and media work and what are the implications for vocational education?

I explore this problem by researching cultural workers and the nature of entrepreneurship as it is experienced by individuals working as freelancers and in small independent businesses within the creative, media and cultural industries. The emphasis is placed on the specific experience of these workers, their potentially entrepreneurial behaviors and skills as they negotiate a career in the UK’s creative industries sector. This informs and raises debates for higher education policies in creative, media, art and design subject areas, with an emphasis on the post graduate level. Continue reading

In my last blog post I finished by asking: How is identity created and what are the modes of conduct? How, as a researcher, can this be observed, analysed and interpreted? Still using Du Gay, I shall attempt to explore these questions further. Specifically, I am interested in the implications for developing a methodology to explore cultural entrepreneurs. Continue reading

The Future of Cultural Work

The recent conference at the Open University, The Future of Cultural Work, inspired much debate and discussion amongst delegates and touched on many pertinent issues for my PhD research into cultural entrepreneurship and education policy. With many strands including capitalism and work, precarious labour, working in television and inclusion & exclusion, it offered a variety of perspectives and provocations in relation to cultural work and cultural labour. Not only were the themes appropriate to my research, but many key academics on the subject presented and attended the conference – I must admit to being a little start-struck! Continue reading

‘cool’ work

There is perception that working in the creative and cultural industries is ‘cool’, pleasurable and a good lifestyle choice. It allows personal autonomy and expression.  Or does it?

The paper entitled ‘Looking for work in creative industries policy’ published in the International Journal of Cultural Policy by Mark Banks and David Hesmondalgh takes a critical look at the issues related with creative work. More specifically, they are focused on UK creative industries policy of the last 10 years (under New Labour) and the lack of research and debate about the conditions of work for creative workers. This is pertinent to my PhD research on Cultural Entrepreneurship because it questions the relationship between recent government policy and the practice of working in the creative and cultural industries. A short research study I undertook 2 years ago demonstrated clearly that some creative workers are very comfortable with the idea of entrepreneurship and enjoy the lifestyle which goes with it. Yet, to what extent have they been manipulated? Have they had the option to think and discuss their conditions of work? Continue reading