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Title: Creativity, capital and entrepreneurship : the contemporary experience of competition in UK urban music
Author: Musgrave, George
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 7755
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores how a competitive marketplace is experienced by creative labour in the context of UK urban music by employing an experimental ethnographic research approach. Between 2010-2013, observations, interviews and textual analysis were conducted with two case-study ‘MCs’, alongside reflexive autoethnographic analysis of the author’s own career as an unsigned artist. The findings contribute to the study of competitiveness by highlighting how it is understood from the perspective of producers, as well as to a wider body of qualitative academic literature exploring the ways in which creative labour operates in advanced markets. It is proposed that in an increasingly competitive context, cultural intermediaries assume a crucial role in the lives of artists for their ability to act as both a distributor and a distinguisher, thereby addressing the work of cultural sociologists and creative labour scholars that debates the role of intermediaries in cultural markets. The methods of artistic collaboration which creative labour employ to capture the attention of these intermediaries, demonstrates that competitiveness can engender collaboration. However, this co-operation often takes place for self-interested reasons, challenging the oppositional dynamic between self-interest and cooperation. Furthermore, the ways in which creative labour acquires, maximises and converts forms of Bourdieu-defined capital today is illusory, as artists can acquire large amounts of institutionalised cultural capital and thus appear very successful, while struggling to monetise this success. The thesis thus highlights how technological changes in the marketplace have altered processes of capital transubstantiation. Finally, this research proposes that the behavioural responses to competitiveness by contemporary creative labour can be understood as an entrepreneurial orientation towards creativity. It contributes to debates about the impact of entrepreneurship on artists, by suggesting that whilst it can have damaging emotional implications evidenced in frustration and disillusionment, it largely helps creativity for the way in which it motivates artists.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available