Beyond Work? New expectations and aspirations

Taylor, Stephanie (2018). Beyond Work? New expectations and aspirations. In: Taylor, Stephanie and Luckman, Susan eds. The New Normal of Working Lives: Critical Studies in Contemporary Work and Employment. Dynamics of Virtual Work. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 327–345.



This chapter considers the extent to which new aspirations and expectations have become attached to work, and the possible emergence of new norms linked to the models of the creative worker and entrepreneur. Through an analysis of interviews with UK artist-makers, the chapter investigates the meanings, values and affect that they attach to their creative practices. The chapter concludes that the creative practices are valued as 'not work' and as offering personal associations and forms of fulfilment which contemporary work is seen as unable to provide. The chapter argues that earlier understandings of work persist, reinforcing negative meanings and affect for even the educated and qualified middle class who might once have expected to find self-actualisation and personal reward through their careers.

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