White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

‘A very complicated version of freedom’: Conditions and experiences of creative labour in three cultural industries

Hesmondhalgh, D and Baker, S (2010) ‘A very complicated version of freedom’: Conditions and experiences of creative labour in three cultural industries. Poetics, 38 (1). 4 - 20 . ISSN 0304-422X


This article investigates the experiences and emotional responses of interviewees to their working conditions in three cultural industries (the television industry, the recording industry and the magazine industry). Via semi-structured interviews with a range of workers, it explores working conditions and experiences in the following areas: pay, working hours and unions; insecurity and uncertainty; socialising, networking and isolation. Our research suggests that experiences are at best highly ambivalent, across all three of the industries we studied. We found evidence of feelings of victimisation and anxiety. Building on previous research, especially that carried out on IT workers, we also discerned complicated responses on the part of workers to the freedom and autonomy characteristic of much cultural work. Pleasure and obligation become blurred in a challenging way. Expectations of sociability and networking in these industries were also the object of some ambivalence, and some workers reported feelings of isolation. These findings suggest that creative industries policy has paid insufficient attention to the experiences of creative workers.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications (Leeds) > Institute of Communication Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2011 13:22
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 04:02
Published Version: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03044...
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.poetic.2009.10.001
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/42741

Actions (repository staff only: login required)