Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' 3 2006, page 23-36.
The adventurous work
The article argue, that the case of creative
work and film directors, although an extreme
case, is useful to understand young
peoples working experiences and wishes for
self-actualisation, as well as the dangers of
self-exploitation in the creative industries and
other knowledge intensive working places.
In affinity to studies carried out within the
framework of the British cultural economy
tradition, this study shows, that the young
film directors anticipate their big break through, but that the break through most likely
is extremely difficult to achieve. A long
period with non- or low paid work, which
the film directors account for temporarily, is
in realty a never-ending rite de passage.
Thus, the film directors find themselves
captured in a state of self-exploitation,
which causes seriously consequences in
terms of life planning, private economic and
employment rights such as pension etc.
Whereas other studies stay with this
paradox of self-exploitation – why do they
do it? – this study attempts to take the film
directors own experiences of their working
life into account, and to understand
how they themselves make work work for
them. This is undertaken with a shift in
theoretical view from the Foucauldian governmentality-school to that of existential
phenomenology. The study shows, that the
film directors not only are driven by a vain
wish for famousness, but that they are attracted
to concrete, exciting and challenging
experiences through their work. The
study employs the late Foucault’s approach
to aesthetic practices of the self and Simmel’s
concept of adventure as theoretical
framework in the analysis of these aesthetic working experiences.