Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | ’Being in the Zone’ of Cultural Work

Title:
’Being in the Zone’ of Cultural Work
Author:
Mark Banks: Sociology, The Open University, UK
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.146241
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2014
Volume:
6
Theme:
Theme: Capitalism: Current Crisis and Cultural Critique Edited by Johan Fornäs

Pages:
241-262
No. of pages:
22
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2014-02-20


In the cultural industries, workers surrender themselves to ultra-intensive work patterns in order to be recognised as properly creative subjects. In its more affirmative versions, there is a recurrent idea that captures that special moment of crea-tive synthesis between the ever-striving worker and the work – the moment of ’being in the zone’. Being in the zone (hereafter BITZ) describes the ideal fusion of the intensively productive mind and the labouring body. But what precisely is this ’zone’, and what is its’ potential? As part of a wider project examining exemplary and intensified subjectivity, in this article I examine BITZ from different perspectives. The main aim is to contrast affirmative readings of BITZ (mostly derived from ’positive’ social psychology) with other, more critical perspectives that would seek to politicise the conditions of its emergence and examine its range of social effects. The overall aim of the article is therefore to suggest the kinds of social and cultural frameworks that might facilitate exploration of the political potential of BITZ in different kinds of empirical context.

Keywords: Being-in-the zone; flow; work; subjectivity; cultural industries; politics

Volume 6, Theme: Theme: Capitalism: Current Crisis and Cultural Critique Edited by Johan Fornäs

, Article 14, 2014

Author:
Mark Banks
Title:
’Being in the Zone’ of Cultural Work:
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.146241
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Volume 6, Theme:: Theme: Capitalism: Current Crisis and Cultural Critique Edited by Johan Fornäs

, Article 14, 2014

Author:
Mark Banks
Title:
’Being in the Zone’ of Cultural Work:
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.146241
Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
Citations:
  • Philip Schörpf, Jörg Flecker, Annika Schönaue & Hubert Eichmann (2017). Triangular love-hate: management and control in creative crowdworking. New Technology, Work and Employment, 32(1): 43. DOI: 10.1111/ntwe.12080
  • Deborah Lesli & Norma Rantisi (2017). Deskilling in cultural industries: Corporatization, standardization and the erosion of creativity at the Cirque du Soleil. Geoforum, : . DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.09.011
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