In this exciting new book Angela McRobbie charts the 'euphoric' moment of the new creative economy, as it rose to prominence in the UK during the Blair years, and considers it from the perspective of contemporary experience of economic austerity and uncertainty about work and employment.
McRobbie makes some bold arguments about the staging of creative economy as a mode of 'labour reform'; she proposes that the dispositif of creativity is a fine-tuned instrument for acclimatising the expanded, youthful urban middle classes to a future of work without the raft of entitlements and security which previous generations had struggled to win through the post-war period of social democratic government.
Adopting a cultural studies perspective, McRobbie re-considers resistance as 'line of flight' and shows what is at stake in the new politics of culture and creativity. She incisively analyses 'project working' as the embodiment of the future of work and poses the question as to how people who come together on this basis can envisage developing stronger and more protective organisations and associations. Scattered throughout the book are excerpts from interviews with artists, stylists, fashion designers, policy-makers, and social entrepreneurs.
Angela McRobbie is Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London.
"From the person who more or less invented cultural labour studies as we know it comes this important set of essays, full of political passion and brilliant insight." David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds
"We are so fortunate to have McRobbie as an expert guide, mapping this complex cultural terrain. The book is essential reading for those trying to understand creativity within the cultural landscape, how we got here, and the role of neoliberal economies in building and reproducing what it means to be 'creative'." Sarah Banet-Weiser, University of Southern California, Los Angeles