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Trajectories of Consecration: Signature Style and the Pace of Category Spanning

Formilan, G., Cattani, G. & Ferriani, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-9669-3486 (2021). Trajectories of Consecration: Signature Style and the Pace of Category Spanning. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 75, pp. 39-63. doi: 10.1108/S0733-558X20210000075005


Consecration represents the most definitive form of legitimation in every cultural field. Complementing previous research focused on individual, contextual, and structural conditions underpinning consecration, this paper takes a sequence analytical perspective and explores whether diverse creative trajectories are more frequently associated with consecration. We introduce the notion of signature style and the pace of category spanning as key features for consecration. We argue that a consecrated signature style is just as likely to result from a producer’s adherence to a specific style over time or from a consistent (and fast-paced) category-spanning creative trajectory. The resulting identity will be specialist in the first case, eclectic in the second. We analyze the stylistic trajectories of 863 electronic music artists and find robust support to our hypothesis. The analysis is corroborated by further exploratory findings that identify intriguing questions for future research. By examining the organization of creative journeys in the career of cultural producers, this paper emphasizes the importance of considering the unfolding and rhythm of creativity over time. This temporal perspective sheds new light on the dynamics of distinctiveness and consecration in cultural fields.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
M Music and Books on Music
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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