Banks, Mark Palgrave Macmillan Ltd, Basingstoke 0230019218 (hb) Order this book? The title of Banks’ book, The Politics of Cultural Work, is perhaps misleading as he also offers an introduction to wider economic, social, cultural, creative contexts and challenges that affect cultural workers (those involved in the production of aesthetic goods and services) in what can be exploitative and underrepresented industries. The introduction and exploration of social theories in regards to cultural work is welcome, addressing a research gap regarding the under-theorised creative cultural worker whose activities have never traditionally been viewed as ‘work’. Through examples from workers in cultural industry production such as film, broadcasting and fashion, Banks shows that traditional management, enterprise discourse (often disguised) has increased self-blaming, corporate values and impacted cultural workers and the ‘power of art’. To explore this three traditions are examined including ‘critical theory’ approaches centring around Marxism, ‘neo-Foucauldian’ or ‘governmental’ approaches that consider cultural workers as ‘enterprise subjects’ and liberal democratic theory that highlights, contrary to the other two approaches, opportunities for the development of aesthetic critique and the re-moralisation of economic practice. Banksclearly and eloquently demonstrates that there is indeed a gap in our knowledge regarding cultural workers. He simplifies
Sociological Research Online – SAGE
Published: Mar 1, 2009
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