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“Essential—Passion for Music”: Affirming, Critiquing, and Practising Passionate Work in Creative Industries

Bennett, T. ORCID: 0000-0003-0078-9315 (2018). “Essential—Passion for Music”: Affirming, Critiquing, and Practising Passionate Work in Creative Industries. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity at Work. (pp. 431-459). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-77350-6_21


This chapter considers “passion” as an enthusiastic orientation to work within creative worlds: work motivated by intense attachments to the products of work and their conditions of production. Drawing on Luc Boltanski’s pragmatic sociology of critique and justification, the chapter argues that the passionate lens most usefully trains our sights on normative questions: not what or how—but why such work is undertaken. Embedded in research on cultural and creative industries, the contemporary recorded music sector is presented as a “passionate” industry in transformation. Interviews with workers, who both criticize and defend their industry, act as a springboard to explore three possible interpretive approaches: affirmative, critical, and pragmatic. Theoretical flexibility is needed to keep “passion” open to future inquiry—particularly regarding inequalities in creative work.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is the accepted manuscript version of a chapter published by Palgrave Macmillan. The final published version is available at
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
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