Posts Tagged ‘ identity ’

What can the field of entrepreneurship learn from studying cultural entrepreneurship?

i-can-t-keep-calm-because-i-m-an-artist

This is one of the questions being asked in a special issue of entitled Cultural Entrepreneurship for the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Venturing.

I am preparing an article for this special issue in which I shall focus on the following themes:

o    How does research on artistic identities and creative work practices inform our knowledge on cultural entrepreneurship?

o    How are cultural entrepreneurs enabled (or hindered) by their professional self-concept and routine work practices?

I aim to explore these themes by revealing insights into the lived experience of cultural entrepreneurship; the worker’s identities and personal agency within a specific context. Continue reading

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The Entrepreneur as Jester.

imagesCACYS744In popular discourse, the identity of the entrepreneur is described as an individual’s life story, achieving entrepreneurial success in the face of adversity, thus creating a strong association with the innate attributes of the entrepreneur, acting as an autonomous ‘free agent’, and often against all the odds. For instance, Alan Sugar’s profile is that of someone who from humble beginnings has become a highly successful entrepreneur. This narrative is depicted by Warren and Anderson in their study of the ‘aesthetic performance of an entrepreneurial identity’ which illustrates the personality of Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of the airline Ryanair (2009). For the authors, O’Leary’s entrepreneurial character is playful in his interactions with the media; he adopts a ‘jester-like pose, where the freedom of the clown’s cap allots a broad license to lambast both figures of authority influential in setting governance structures and also, the greyed ranks of august established competitors’ (ibid, p. 149). Warren and Anderson expose O’Leary’s ability to use entrepreneurial rhetoric as a means of challenging the structures which stand in his way, as a business man (ibid). Here, the idea of the entrepreneur is similar to that of the maverick, the disruptive individual who acts differently from the establishment. According to Warren and Anderson, O’Leary is empowered by performing this role and employs the character of the entrepreneur to meet his business needs in a competitive marketplace.

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Identity and Personal Agency: We are not Robots.

1312-20130301-RobotsForeverAs part of my methodology chapter, I am exploring theories of identity and personal agency as the framework for my approach.

Identity is an important subject in cultural studies. As a means of challenging social norms, particularly, western notions of identity, cultural identities such as gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, for example, are explored and contested.

The authors of Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds (Holland, Skinner, Lachicotte and Cain, 1998) research the dichotomy between humans as products of social discipline and the producers of the social worlds in which they live. In this contribution to anthropology, the authors argue that individuals play an active role in re-shaping themselves, their identity and their world. Continue reading

Cultural Work and Higher Education

I have written a chapter for a book entitled Cultural Work and Higher Education, edited by Dan Ashton and Caitriona Noonan. My chapter focuses on enterprise education and is based on research I did with post-graduate media students. Their experience of doing an enterprise module but not an evaluation of the module. This is the abstract for the chapter:

Media Enterprise in Higher Education: A Laboratory for Learning

Enterprise has become increasingly important in media and creative industries education. In this chapter, I explore some of the tensions between critical debates and teaching enterprise practice. Empirical evidence is provided from interviews with post-graduate media students revealing a dynamic and exploratory approach to entrepreneurship. While there are challenges, engaging with the practical aspects of entrepreneurship enables students to re-shape the idea of the entrepreneur to suit their own practice and circumstances. Reflection encourages students to develop their own media entrepreneur identity.

The book is published by Palgrave and should be available in Autumn 2013.

creating the cultural worker identity

From constructed identity to techniques for developing one’s identity as a cultural worker.

Identity theory, in cultural studies, has focused on the idea of the constructed identity – the external factors which construct our identity through the power of discourse and ‘différance’ as described by Derrida. Stuart Hall argues this is enacted through codes, language and style that are constructed through difference, how we define ourselves in relation to the ‘other’ as a means of distinguishing ourselves. This identity is not a fixed state of being but as Hall argues it is unstable, in a constant state of flux. But do we play a role in shaping that identity, specifically in the context of cultural work?

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