12 November 2020

This seminar presentation features presentations from the Australian-based contributors to the new collection Pathways into Creative Working Lives, edited by Stephanie Taylor and Susan Luckman. The promise of ‘doing what you love’ continues to attract new entrants into the sector of the cultural and creative industries. The collection asks if the promise is betrayed by the realities of pathways into creative work or, more positively, if a creative identification presents new personal and professional possibilities in the precarious contexts of contemporary work and employment. Two decades into the 21st century, aspiring creative workers can undertake training and higher education courses. They can attempt to convert personal enthusiasms and amateur activities into income-earning careers. Many are self-employed, some utilising skills developed in other occupations. This book presents research on pathways into creative work in a range of occupations and national contexts, including Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Finland, the Netherlands, Russia, the US, and the UK. This seminar presents research from Australia, China, Vietnam, and Iceland.



  • Creative aspiration and the betrayal of promise? with Susan Luckman
  • Meaning and soul: co-working, creative career and independent co-work spaces with George Morgan
  • Working the field: career pathways amongst artists and writers in Shanghai with Xin Gu & Justin O’Connor
  • Closing words: New pathways into creative work? with Stephanie Taylor 


About the speakers

Xin Gu – Monash University

Xin Gu is the director of the Master of Cultural and Creative Industries (MCCI) at Monash University in Australia. She has published widely on urban creative clusters and agglomerations, cultural work, creative entrepreneurship, cultural and creative industries policy, media cities, maker culture and cyberculture in China. Xin has worked with policy initiatives in the UK, China and Indonesia to support small-scale local creative industries development services. Her work focuses on the transformation of creative cities and the creative economy under different social, economic and political conditions. Xin’s current research concerns the digital creative economy, looking at the democratization of creativity through vast transformative digital media ecosystems.

Susan Luckman – University of South Australia

Susan Luckman is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries and Director of the CP3: Creative People, Products and Places Research Group (CP3) at the University of South Australia. Susan is the author of Craftspeople and Designer Makers in the Contemporary Creative Economy (Palgrave 2020), Craft and the Creative Economy (Palgrave Macmillan 2015), Locating Cultural Work: The Politics and Poetics of Rural, Regional and Remote Creativity (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), co-editor of Pathways into Creative Working Lives (Palgrave 2020), The ‘New Normal’ of Working Lives: Critical Studies in Contemporary Work and Employment (Palgrave 2018), Craft Economies (Bloomsbury 2018), and Sonic Synergies: Music, Identity, Technology and Community (Ashgate 2008).

George Morgan – Western Sydney University

George Morgan is Associate Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. His recent research deals with creative skills and in particular the obstacles encountered by young people from disadvantaged/ minority backgrounds in building creative careers. His book The Creativity Hoax: Precarious Work and the New Economy (Anthem Press), co-authored with Pariece Nelligan was published in 2018.

Justin O’Connor – University of South Australia

Justin O’Connor is Professor of Cultrual Economy at the University of South Australia. Between 2012-18 he was part of the UNESCO ‘Expert Facility’, supporting the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity. Justin is currently working on two ARC Discovery projects: UNESCO and the Making of Global Cultural Policy and Urban Cultural Policy, the Changing Dynamics of Cultural Production. Justin O’Connor is Professor of Cultural Economy at the University of South Australia and visiting Professor in the School of Cultural Management, Shanghai Jiaotong University. He has co- edited The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Industries (2015); Cultural Industries in Shanghai: Policy and Planning inside a Global City (2018); and Re-Imagining Creative Cities in 21st Century Asia (2020) and is co-author of Red Creative: Culture and Modernity in China (2020).

Stephanie Taylor – The Open University, UK

Stephanie Taylor is Professor of Social Psychology in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the The Open University, UK. She is co-author of Contemporary Identities of Creativity and Creative Work (Ashgate, 2012) and co-editor of the collections Theorizing Cultural Work: Labour, continuity and change in the cultural and creative industries (Routledge, 2013), Gender and Creative Labour (Wiley Blackwell/Sociological Review, 2015) and The New Normal of Working Lives: Critical Studies in Contemporary Work and Employment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). She is also author of the monograph Narratives of Identity and Place (Routledge, 2010) and numerous journal articles, including recent contributions to Feminism & Psychology and Social Psychology Quarterly.

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