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Title: 'Creative' careers : gender, social networks and labour market inequality
Author: Clare, K.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis examines gender inequality in the ‘new economy’, and specifically looks at gendered patterns of work in the advertising industry through a micro-level social network perspective. This study focuses on the advertising industry because it is an exemplar of a project-based creative industry in the knowledge-based ‘new economy’ where project work is becoming more common and careers are constructed as portfolios of previous experiences rather than life-time employment by one employer. In these creative industries, despite the rhetoric of flexibility, egalitarianism and non-hierarchical structures, I show how categorical inequalities (in particular gender) shape labour market outcomes, demonstrating how gender is often more important than performance in facilitating career trajectories of workers. In contrast to the all-encompassing and simplistic notions of ‘social networks’ commonly employed in much of economic geography, I unpack the concept of social networks and specify how social networks confer advantages, and document what those advantages are so we know why it matters who you know. First, I show that personal ties are important because they direct the flow of power, information, and help workers acquire legitimacy, skills, and jobs. Second, I demonstrate there are important differences in men’s and women’s social networks, which drive differences in the opportunity structures available to men and women. Third, I show how men and women have different ‘creative biographies’ and different experiences of project-based work. Fourth, my thesis develops a specifically geographical understanding of workers’ careers, showing how an appreciation of place-based cultures of working and socialising are crucial to an understanding of employment patterns. Finally, I provide policy implications. Overall, I demonstrate that micro-level processes contribute to macro-level patterns of gender inequality. Crucially, these findings assert the importance of micro-level social networks in determining labour market outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available