Mobilising capitals in the creative industries: An investigation of emotional and professional capital in women creatives navigating boundaryless careers

Book chapter
Change log
Stahl, Garth 

Bourdieu has been an extraordinarily influential figure in the sociology of music and music education. For over four decades, his concepts have helped to generate both empirical and theoretical advancements in the fields of music and sound art in the creative industries. Although Bourdieu’s tools take many shapes within his own writing and in different disciplines, the dominant interpretation of capital – which he defines as an amalgamation of economic, cultural and social capital – we argue, has coalesced around narrowly construed views of what constitutes careers in the music and creative industries. Therefore, the significance of this chapter’s contribution to the field is both empirical and theoretical. We expand how theories of capital can be used to explore the professional lives of two highly respected women working in the creative industries. Throughout this chapter we ask: Within creative industries, how do women creatives recognize and operationalize their capitals? Which capitals are valuable and how are they valued? What are the ‘practices’ they use to generate capital? First, we briefly summarize Bourdieu’s approach to capital as well as some Bourdieusian-inspired conceptual expansions of emotional capital and professional capital. Then, in the second half of the chapter, we work implicitly with these theories focusing on two case studies of women creatives who are currently navigating boundaryless careers. To conclude, we make a theoretical contribution to how emotional and professional capitals work in tandem, influencing each other which opens up new ways of thinking critically about how we accumulate and use capitals to reveal the conditions favouring the concentration and expansion of capitals by women creatives.

expanded theory of capitals; Bourdieu; creative industries; boundaryless careers; music
Is Part Of
Routledge Handbook of Sociology in Music Education