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7AAICC18 'Creatives': Working in the Media and Creative Industries

Module convenor: Dr Lauren England

Credits: 20

Teaching Pattern: 10 x 1 hour lecture; 10 x 1 hour seminar

Module description:

This module aims to investigate contemporary debates about the nature of work and labour in the cultural and media industries. Questions such as: who gets to make culture and under what conditions; what makes work and labour in the cultural and media industries, such as projects and freelancing, different from other forms of work. By drawing on up-to-date empirical research from fields such as music, television, film, fashion, gaming, advertising and journalism, we will explore how cultural and media work is managed, both by the individual and others.

Module aims

The module will look at work in the cultural and media industries through a sociological lens, critically interrogating notions of entrepreneurship, management discourses about creativity and contemporary policy for the creative industries. The module will be attentive to precarity, power relations and inequality, most notably in regard to age, gender and ethnicity, and will situate cultural and media workers in broader frameworks concerned with transformations of contemporary capitalism, and emerging forms of labour such as platform and gig work.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practical skills appropriate to a Level 7 module and in particular will be able to:

  • Evaluate different perspectives on the transformation of work and the role of the cultural and media industries within that transformation.
  • Reflect critically upon the nature of cultural and media work, and point to its distinctive features, if any.
  • Draw comparisons between the organisation and nature of work in different creative and media fields.
  • Display an appreciation of the ways in which cultural and creative work is impacted by changing technologies, shifts in capitalism, and processes of globalisation.
  • Show an understanding of the ways social divisions such as age, gender, ethnicity, class and national location may impact upon creative work.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of different theorisations of cultural and creative work including immaterial labour, affective labour and aesthetic labour.

Core reading

  • Banks, M. (2017). Creative Justice: Cultural Industries, Work, and Inequality.
  • Conor, B., Gill, R. and Taylor, S. (eds.) (2015). Gender and Creative Labour. Vol. 63. S1 vols. Sociological Review Monograph Series. Chichester: Wiley.
  • Elias, A.S. Gill, R. Scharff, C. (2017). Aesthetic Labour: rethinking Beauty Politics in Neoliberalism. London: Palgrave.
  • Hesmondhalgh, D. and Baker, S. (2011). Creative Labour: Media Work in Three Cultural Industries. London: Routledge.
  • McRobbie, A. (2016). Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries. Cambridge:Polity.


1 x 4,000 word essay (100%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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