The creative industries and the cultural commons: transformations in labour, value and production

Rowan, Jaron. 2012. The creative industries and the cultural commons: transformations in labour, value and production. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The following work constitutes an inquiry into the economic, social and political composition of what are commonly known as the cultural or creative industries. My aim is to provide a critique of the discursive origins, political dimensions, economic models and subjective constructions that shape the complex set of practices and discourses that comprise the creative industries. To do so, this work looks into the production of a set of schemes, policies, plans, economic models, modes of labour, regulations and discourses that have been designed in order to transform cultural practices into economic activities. I will contextualize these transformations within a general framework of what has been branded ‘cognitive capitalism’, acknowledging that this process needs to be understood with reference to the neoliberalization of the wider economy through focusing on a set of changes in the nature of labour, value and creativity. I then attempt to understand the ecosystem in which the creative industries are enmeshed. In order to do so, I will discuss the notion of the cultural commons: the pools of collective ideas and knowledge from which these enterprises capture their raw material. Not only will this give an understanding of the nature of the sources of knowledge and ideas that feed the creative industries but will also to provide a good opportunity to understand the communities, objects and relations that shape them. Finally there is a discussion on the tensions, bifurcations and alternatives that escape the hegemonic economic models promoted by policy. This will open up possibilities in which to think of forms of self-organization and commons-based cultural enterprises that might provide new spaces in which the economy and culture can meet.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)


Cultural industries, creative industries, cultural policy, commons, intellectual property, labour, value, creativity, entrepreneurship, art

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)


18 March 2012

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

02 May 2013 10:24

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 08:38


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