Being in the zone of cultural work

Banks, M. (2014) Being in the zone of cultural work. Culture Unbound, 6, pp. 241-262. (doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.146241)

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In the cultural industries, workers surrender themselves to ultra-intensive work patterns in order to be recognised as properly creative subjects. In its more affirmative versions, there is a recurrent idea that captures that special moment of crea-tive synthesis between the ever-striving worker and the work – the moment of ’being in the zone’. Being in the zone (hereafter BITZ) describes the ideal fusion of the intensively productive mind and the labouring body. But what precisely is this ’zone’, and what is its’ potential? As part of a wider project examining exemplary and intensified subjectivity, in this article I examine BITZ from different perspectives. The main aim is to contrast affirmative readings of BITZ (mostly derived from ’positive’ social psychology) with other, more critical perspectives that would seek to politicise the conditions of its emergence and examine its range of social effects. The overall aim of the article is therefore to suggest the kinds of social and cultural frameworks that might facilitate exploration of the political potential of BITZ in different kinds of empirical context.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Banks, Professor Mark
Authors: Banks, M.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Culture Unbound
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press
ISSN (Online):2000-1525
Published Online:20 February 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Author
First Published:First published in Culture Unbound 6: 241-262
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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