Bilateral Creative Workers: Labour and subjectivity in Chinese creative economies

Jian Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademicpeer-review


    This study investigates creative labour conditions and the formation of creative subjectivities in China in terms of the precariousness these conditions generate, but also of the opportunities creative labour offers subjects from diverse social backgrounds. Based on my empirical fieldwork in China (mostly Beijing and Shanghai) and archival research (e.g. policy documents and industrial reports), this study combines a political economy of cultural production in contemporary China with four empirical case studies focusing on creative workers in state-owned cultural enterprises, independent filmmakers, international creative workers in Beijing and the newly emerged digital creative class on social media. By investigating the subjectivation of creative workers in relation to the complex and diversified labour conditions of cultural production in contemporary China, this study engages with three questions concerning governance, precarity and subjectivity: 1) How are cultural production and creative labour organised and regulated in the contemporary Chinese cultural economy (governance)? 2) What are the working and living conditions of creative workers in this specific political economy of the Chinese cultural industries (precarity)? 3) How do individual creative workers navigate the politico-economic system of cultural production in China? (subjectivity)?
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherNew York University Press
    Publication statusIn preparation - 2021

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