Women's Musical Lives: self-managing a freelance career

Armstrong, Victoria (2013) Women's Musical Lives: self-managing a freelance career. Women: a Cultural Review, ONLINE. pp. 1-18. ISSN 0957-4042

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09574042.2013.850598

Abstract

While opportunities for women have certainly improved and they are far better represented today in a range of music sectors. Creative and Cultural Skills (2010) found that women occupy only 32.2% of all music industry related jobs, they earn less, give up their careers sooner and experience more barriers to progression than their male counterparts. It has been shown that while ‘creative labour’ can be rewarding and fulfilling it is also a source of (self-) exploitation, is insecure, involves long hours, entails working for low or no pay, through the gifting of free labour, requires high levels of commitment from a normatively younger worker and results in bulimic patterns of work. It appears that the contested nature of creative work may have particular implications for female freelance musicians but, hitherto, very little critical attention has been paid to their experiences. Using an innovative methodo- logical approach combining visual social research methods and digital ethnography, this paper presents the findings of an exploratory study into the working lives of five professional female musicians based in London and the South West of England. It examines the nature of their work and seeks to understand how freelance careers are experienced, supported and developed. The findings suggest that this is often contingent on the context of the work, its purpose, the types of work the musicians undertake and the meanings they attribute to their various musical activities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: women, music, freelance, digital methodology, creative industries
School/Department: School of Management and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Victoria Armstrong
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2013 13:45
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2013 13:45
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/634

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