The Open UniversitySkip to content

The meanings and problems of contemporary creative work

Taylor, Stephanie (2012). The meanings and problems of contemporary creative work. Vocations and Learning: Studies in Vocational and Professional Education, 5(1) pp. 41–57.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Contemporary creative work has emerged as a focus of international academic and policy attention since the late 1990s, the period in which the cultural and creative industries achieved recognition as a highly successful new sector. Commentators have noted the problems faced by many contemporary creative workers because of the precarious and ill-paid nature of much of the work in the sector. This article proposes that associations with the creative arts provide an important resource for the occupational identification for these workers, yet also a significant source of conflicts. Analyses of interviews with creative workers who were recruited from the students and alumni of UK art colleges (Higher Education Institutions in Arts and Design) suggest that meanings derived from the creative arts and taken up in educational contexts and elsewhere continue to shape these workers’ understandings of creative work, including the process of creative working, the trajectory of a creative career, and what constitutes success in creative work. The importance of these meanings is explored and detailed through a consideration of participants’ identifications using a narrative-discursive analysis of interview data.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
ISSN: 1874-7868
Extra Information: This article is part of a special issue on ‘Creativity and Creative work in Contemporary Working Contexts’ edited by K.Littleton, S.Taylor and A.Eteläpelto
Keywords: creative industries; creative workers; career trajectories; narrative-discursive analysis; identities
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology and Counselling > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology and Counselling
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 29291
Depositing User: Stephanie Taylor
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2011 16:13
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:37
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU