More than two decades of discussion of the cultural and creative industries by academics, educationalists and policy-makers has led, inevitably, to considerable interest in the experience and motivations of the people working in these industries. One interpretation is that such workers are drawn into a form of ‘self-exploitation’ (McRobbie, 1998) by their creative ambitions, becoming wholly subject to the requirements and interests of industries and employers. In this chapter, we draw on theory from social, narrative and discursive psychology to propose a more complex form of identification or subjectification (see Wetherell, 2008), which is linked to the multiple positionings and meanings in play around creativity and creative work. Our analyses of this complexity and multiplicity offer new explanations for the choice of a creative career and for problems confronted by creative workers. In particular, we explore conflicts around the taking up of a creative identity. These conflicts are shown to be associated with, and impact on, certain categories of workers, reinforcing previously ascribed ‘deficit’ identities (Reynolds and Taylor, 2005). The chapter therefore challenges previous arguments concerning the motivation and experience of creative workers.
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- Negotiating a Contemporary Creative Identity
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