The nature of the creative industry has led

The following article is organized into threemain sections and acts as the introduction to a journal issue comprised of atotal of 5 articles.

Holt and Lapenta introduce the article through adiscussion of creative work, posing how the deceiving nature of the creative industryhas led many to aspire for a job within it. Through an overarchingmisconception of the creative class, many workers have come to believe thatcreative labor offers greater prestige, flexibility, and enjoyment than anyother job. As a result, workers have come to obliviate the precariousness andexploitative nature of creative labor. Holt and Lapenta thus consider thenormative approach as a way to differentiate good from bad forms of creativelabor. The normative approach revolves greatly around the logic of autonomywhich the authors examine further throughout the article. The second sectionbrings forth a conceptualization of the logic of autonomy, through a discussionof its genesis in the Enlightenment, its contemporary understanding, and itspolitical dimensions. Furthermore, the authors note how the following threeissues overarch the entire journal issue. The first of these contends how anunderstanding of the relationship between autonomy, originality, and the endurance to the industrial systemenables the creative industry and the production of creative products to moreeasily develop.

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The second issue considershow although the emergence of a creative market hasenabled greater autonomy, it has simultaneously turned creative products into acommodity thus inevitably placing workers in a creative labor market dictatedby hierarchies of control. The third issue considers the logic ofautonomy and subjectivity in relation to the concept of self-realization, contending that good and bad work cannot be differentiatedsimply on the basis of autonomy. The third section bringsforth the debate on autonomy and self-realization, provided by David Hesmondhalgh, Mark Banks, Matt Stahl and Adam Arvidsson.Firstly, Hesmondhalgh discusses the conceptof autonomy from a sociological perspective, examining the variousinterpretations of autonomy and self-realization brought forth by the field of culturalstudies and through a consideration of the logic of normativity. Similarly, Banksbrings forth an updated theorization of the cultural industry’s logic ofautonomy through a discussion of the subjectivities and tensions faced bycreative workers.

Contrastingly, through an empirical study of the Californiafilm industry and Milan fashion industry, Stahl and Arvidsson’s articlesprovide a comparative assessment on the logic of autonomy and self-realisation embodiedin the working conditions of creative workers who have shaped the creation ofnew forms of control and exploitation. Arvidsson’s article brings forth thecontradictory situation experienced by the creative precariats working in thefashion industry who in spite of being underpaid, feel fully satisfied with thejob. Stahl adds in his article how storyboard artists in the film industryaccept a similar loss of autonomy in exchange for the prestige offered by theinclusion into professional communities.  Holt and Lapenta’s work on the culturalindustry provides an interesting conceptualization of the logic of creativelabor in relation to the notion of autonomy and the negation of it within the culturalsystem. One can note a small level of similarity between the works of Holt andLapenta and Strachan which brings forth a discussion on the topic of labourwithin the music industry and the greater level of autonomy which musicians andproducers have gained through the emergence of the Internet, and digital technologiesfor the production of music such as digital audio workstations. The theoreticalframework revolving around the notion of autonomy and self-realization is particularlyinteresting as it provides the reader with a new way of understanding labor inthe creative industries. However, the limitation of this source lies in its short,broad and concise nature. Perhaps this is due to the article being theintroduction.

Hence, through reading the journal issue’s remaining articles onewill be able to gain a much deeper understanding of the discourse relating tothe notions of creative labor, autonomy, and self-realization. 


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