Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries
January 2016, Polity
McRobbie makes some bold arguments about the staging of creative economy as a mode of ‘labour reform’; she proposes that the dispositif of creativity is a fine-tuned instrument for acclimatising the expanded, youthful urban middle classes to a future of work without the raft of entitlements and security which previous generations had struggled to win through the post-war period of social democratic government.
Adopting a cultural studies perspective, McRobbie re-considers resistance as ‘line of flight’ and shows what is at stake in the new politics of culture and creativity. She incisively analyses ‘project working’ as the embodiment of the future of work and poses the question as to how people who come together on this basis can envisage developing stronger and more protective organisations and associations. Scattered throughout the book are excerpts from interviews with artists, stylists, fashion designers, policy-makers, and social entrepreneurs.
Introduction: From The Social Network to The ‘Flexible
Frau’, Visions of Creative Economy
Chapter One: Unpacking the Politics of Creative Labour: The Rise of the Urban Hipster Economy
Chapter Two: The Artist as Human Capital: Looking Back at London, New Labour and the ‘Modernisation of Culture’.
Chapter Three: Club to Company
Chapter Four: Gender and Work in the New Creative Economy
Chapter Five: The Time and Space of Creative Labour: A response to the writing of Richard Sennett
Chapter Six: Fashion Matters Berlin: Start Ups Scenes and Female Social Enterprise
Chapter Seven: Conclusion; Concepts for Project Working in a European Frame
"From the person who more or less invented cultural labour studies as we know it comes this important set of essays, full of political passion and brilliant insight."
David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds
"We are so fortunate to have McRobbie as an expert guide, mapping this complex cultural terrain. The book is essential reading for those trying to understand creativity within the cultural landscape, how we got here, and the role of neoliberal economies in building and reproducing what it means to be ‘creative’."
Sarah Banet-Weiser, University of Southern California, Los Angeles