Individualization, Gender and Cultural Work
Individualisation, Gender and Cultural Work
In the ‘new’ economy the virtues of creative and cultural industry production are widely promoted and idealized. For women, set free from their ‘feudal chains’, the ‘cool creative and egalitarian’ cultural economy — particularly in areas such new media, music, design and fashion — appears to offer paths to workplace freedom. But is this really so? Using evidence from the digital ‘new media’ sector, this article builds on the work of Lash and Adkins that suggests that the ostensibly de-traditionalized cultural economy continues to play host to some markedly regressive traditional social structures. In particular it is shown how the new media sector exhibits some clear continuity with the old economy in terms of some enduring gender inequality and discrimination. However, more positively, evidence is presented of how women have been able to take advantage of individualized workplace structures and develop more autonomous and reflexive workplace roles.