The nature of the creative industry has led

The following article is organized into three
main sections and acts as the introduction to a journal issue comprised of a
total of 5 articles. Holt and Lapenta introduce the article through a
discussion of creative work, posing how the deceiving nature of the creative industry
has led many to aspire for a job within it. Through an overarching
misconception of the creative class, many workers have come to believe that
creative labor offers greater prestige, flexibility, and enjoyment than any
other job. As a result, workers have come to obliviate the precariousness and
exploitative nature of creative labor. Holt and Lapenta thus consider the
normative approach as a way to differentiate good from bad forms of creative
labor. The normative approach revolves greatly around the logic of autonomy
which the authors examine further throughout the article. The second section
brings forth a conceptualization of the logic of autonomy, through a discussion
of its genesis in the Enlightenment, its contemporary understanding, and its
political dimensions. Furthermore, the authors note how the following three
issues overarch the entire journal issue. The first of these contends how an
understanding of the relationship between autonomy, originality, and the endurance to the industrial system
enables the creative industry and the production of creative products to more
easily develop. The second issue considers
how although the emergence of a creative market has
enabled greater autonomy, it has simultaneously turned creative products into a
commodity thus inevitably placing workers in a creative labor market dictated
by hierarchies of control. The third issue considers the logic of
autonomy and subjectivity in relation to the concept of self-realization, contending that good and bad work cannot be differentiated
simply on the basis of autonomy. The third section brings
forth the debate on autonomy and self-realization, provided by David Hesmondhalgh, Mark Banks, Matt Stahl and Adam Arvidsson.

Firstly, Hesmondhalgh discusses the concept
of autonomy from a sociological perspective, examining the various
interpretations of autonomy and self-realization brought forth by the field of cultural
studies and through a consideration of the logic of normativity. Similarly, Banks
brings forth an updated theorization of the cultural industry’s logic of
autonomy through a discussion of the subjectivities and tensions faced by
creative workers. Contrastingly, through an empirical study of the California
film industry and Milan fashion industry, Stahl and Arvidsson’s articles
provide a comparative assessment on the logic of autonomy and self-realisation embodied
in the working conditions of creative workers who have shaped the creation of
new forms of control and exploitation. Arvidsson’s article brings forth the
contradictory situation experienced by the creative precariats working in the
fashion industry who in spite of being underpaid, feel fully satisfied with the
job. Stahl adds in his article how storyboard artists in the film industry
accept a similar loss of autonomy in exchange for the prestige offered by the
inclusion into professional communities.

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Holt and Lapenta’s work on the cultural
industry provides an interesting conceptualization of the logic of creative
labor in relation to the notion of autonomy and the negation of it within the cultural
system. One can note a small level of similarity between the works of Holt and
Lapenta and Strachan which brings forth a discussion on the topic of labour
within the music industry and the greater level of autonomy which musicians and
producers have gained through the emergence of the Internet, and digital technologies
for the production of music such as digital audio workstations. The theoretical
framework revolving around the notion of autonomy and self-realization is particularly
interesting as it provides the reader with a new way of understanding labor in
the creative industries. However, the limitation of this source lies in its short,
broad and concise nature. Perhaps this is due to the article being the
introduction. Hence, through reading the journal issue’s remaining articles one
will be able to gain a much deeper understanding of the discourse relating to
the notions of creative labor, autonomy, and self-realization. 


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