A Theory of Fields

Fligstein, N.,
McAdams, D.
New York, Oxford University Press

Finding ways to understand the nature of social change and social order—from political movements to market meltdowns—is one of the enduring problems of social science. This book draws together far-ranging insights from social movement theory, organizational theory, and economic and political sociology to construct a general theory of social organization and strategic action. This book proposes that social change and social order can be understood through what the book calls strategic action fields. It posits that these fields are the general building blocks of political and economic life, civil society, and the state, and the fundamental form of order in our world today. Similar to Russian dolls, they are nested and connected in a broader environment of almost countless proximate and overlapping fields. Fields are mutually dependent; change in one often triggers change in another. At the core of the theory is an account of how social actors fashion and maintain order in a given field. This sociological theory of action, what they call “social skill,” helps explain what individuals do in strategic action fields to gain cooperation or engage in competition. To demonstrate the breadth of the theory, the book makes its abstract principles concrete through extended case studies of the Civil Rights Movement and the rise and fall of the market for mortgages in the U.S. since the 1960s. The book also provides a “how-to” guide to help others implement the approach and discusses methodological issues.


After the creative industries

Banks, M.,
O'Connor, J.
International Journal of Cultural Policy
15(4): 365-373

In the 1990s ,the rise of the creative industried as a discourse and instrument of policy signalled a desire amongst governments to harness cultural production to a renewed economic agenda.


All work and no pay: consequences of unpaid work in the creative industries

Siebert, S. ,
Wilson, F.
Work, Employment and Society

This research note evaluates the benefits and pitfalls of unpaid work as an entry route into employment in the creative industries and investigates the consequences of this practice for those who already work in the sector. Based on a qualitative study of perspectives of stakeholders in unpaid work, this article argues that the social capital thesis, often used as a rationale for unpaid work, inadequately explains the practice of unpaid work experience, primarily because it does not take cognisance of the consequences of this practice for other people working in the sector. The study also highlights methodological issues that need to be considered in the future. As well as the importance of a plurality of stakeholder perspectives, the study emphasizes the need to consider the perspectives of those who are excluded from unpaid work and those who are potentially displaced by it.


Behind the Screen. Inside European Production Cultures

Szczepanik, P.,
Vonderau, P.,
New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Production studies has developed into an interdisciplinary field of inquiry of film and television "production cultures," going beyond traditional examinations of authorship and industry structure. Studying production as culture involves gathering empirical data about the lived realities of people involved in media production - about collaboration and conflicts, routines and rituals, lay theories and performative actions. This volume broadens the scope of production studies by analyzing geographic and historical alternatives to contemporary Hollywood. At the same time, it invites disciplines such as ethnography, aesthetics, or sociology of art to reconsider established concepts of film and media studies like creative agency, genesis of a film work, or transnational production.


Bygdedager og historiske spel: En feiring av stedet?

Larsen, A. K.
Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk

Antall avholdte festivaler - det være seg innenfor musikk, film, litteratur, mat eller annet - har økt betraktelig i Norge i løpet av de siste årene. Dette er begivenheter sm trekker arrangører, opptredende og publikum til et bestemt sted. Her er det satt opp et program som kan vare fra én dag og opp til felere uker. Under arrangementet hersker det vanligvis en egen stemnsing som også preger (deler av) lokalsamfunnet der det avholdes. Selv om det tematiske fokuset er mindre eksplisitt når det gjelder såkalte bygdedager og kanskje også spel, kan det likevel være fruktbart å se disse som typer av festivaler.


Connected viewing. Selling, Streaming & Sharing Media in the Digital Era

Holt, .,
Sanson, K.,
London: Routledge

As patterns of media use become more integrated with mobile technologies and multiple screens, a new mode of viewer engagement has emerged in the form of connected viewing, which allows for an array of new relationships between audiences and media texts in the digital space. This exciting new collection brings together twelve original essays that critically engage with the socially-networked, multi-platform, and cloud-based world of today, examining the connected viewing phenomenon across television, film, video games, and social media. The result is a wide-ranging analysis of shifting business models, policy matters, technological infrastructure, new forms of user engagement, and other key trends affecting screen media in the digital era. Connected Viewing contextualizes the dramatic transformations taking place across both media industries and national contexts, and offers students and scholars alike a diverse set of methods and perspectives for studying this critical moment in media culture.


Constructing Regional Advantage: Platform Policies Based on Related Variety and Differentiated Knowledge Bases

Asheim, B.,
Boschma, R.A.,
Cooke, P.
Regional Studies
Vol 45(7): 893-904

This paper presents a regional innovation policy model based on the idea of constructing regional advantage. This policy model brings together concepts like related variety, knowledge bases and policy platforms. Related variety attaches importance to knowledge spillovers across complementary sectors. The paper categorizes knowledge into ‘analytical’ (science based), ‘synthetic’ (engineering based) and ‘symbolic’ (arts based) in nature, with different requirements of ‘virtual’ and real proximity mixes. The implications of this are traced for evolving ‘platform policies’ that facilitate economic development within and between regions in action lines appropriate to incorporate the basic principles behind related variety and differentiated knowledge bases.


Consumption, culture and creativity

Power, D.,
Scott, A.

The cultural economy has, in recent years, been the object of significant attention in studies of urban development. The rising importance of cultural activities in this regard is scarcely surprising given the increasing convergence between systems of cultural expression on the one hand and the economic order on the other (Lash and Urry 1994).


Cool, creative and egalitarian?

Gill, R.
Information, Communication and Society
5, 1: 70-89.

The new media industries are popularly regarded as cool, creative and egalitarian. This view is held by academics, policy-makers and also by new media workers themselves, who cite the youth, dynamism and informality of new media as some of its main attractions. This paper is concerned with what this mythologized version of new media work leaves out, glosses over and, indeed, makes difficult to articulate at all. Themes include pervasive insecurity, low pay, and long hours but the particular focus of the paper is on gender inequalities in new media work. Despite its image as 'cool', non-hierarchical and egalitarian, the new media sector, this paper will argue, is characterized by a number of entrenched and all too old-fashioned patterns of gender inequality relating to education, access to work and pay. Moreover, a number of new forms of gender inequality are emerging, connected - paradoxically - to many of the features of the work that are valued - informality,autonomy,flexibility and so on. Drawing on a study of 125 freelance new media workers in six European countries, this paper explores these issues and argues that the new forms of sexism in new media represent a serious challenge to its image of itself as cool, diverse and egalitarian.


Copyright Protection, Technological Change and the Quality of Products: Evidence from Recorded Music since Napster

Waldfogel, J.

Recent technological changes may have altered the balance between technology and copyright law for digital products. While file-sharing has reduced revenue, other technological changes have reduced the costs of bringing creative works to market. As a result, we don’t know whether the effective copyright protection currently available provides adequate incentives to bring forth a steady stream of valuable new products. This paper assesses the quality of new recorded music since Napster, using three independent approaches. The first is an index of the quantity of high-quality music based on critics’ retrospective lists. The second and third approaches rely directly on music sales and airplay data, respectively, using of the idea that if one vintage’s music is better than another’s, its superior quality should generate higher sales or greater airplay through time, after accounting for depreciation. The three resulting indices of vintage quality for the past half-century are both consistent with each other and with other historical accounts of recorded music quality. There is no evidence of a reduction in the quality of music released since Napster, and the two usage-based indices suggest an increase since 1999. Hence, researchers and policymakers thinking about the strength of copyright protection should supplement their attention to producer surplus with concern for consumer surplus as well.

Working Paper
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