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Constructions of Professional Subjectivity at the Fine Arts College
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies – Tema Q. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4331-4950
2015 (English)In: Professions and Professionalism, ISSN 1893-1049, Vol. 5, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Higher education can function as an important marker of seriousness in fields characterized by diffuse professional standards. Using the case of a fine arts institute, the article outlines the role of higher education in promoting the interconnection of a professional and individual subjectivity; being an artist is not merely something one does but something one is. By primarily examining interview material, it explores how an ideal position of individual self-reliance relates to the alumni of the institute. Some respondents were not “in sync” with this position and needed to seek out other resources in order to construct themselves as professional artists. However, they seldom rejected the kind of subjectivity promoted by their education, but rather renegotiated it as part of the uncertainty of their chosen field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Hoegskolen i Oslo og Akershus , 2015. Vol. 5, no 2
Keyword [en]
arts professionals, artistic education, self-reliance, discursive repertoire
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-127714DOI: 10.7577/pp.869OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-127714DiVA: diva2:926889
Available from: 2016-05-10 Created: 2016-05-10 Last updated: 2016-11-10
In thesis
1. (Un)bearable freedom: Exploring the becoming of the artist in education, work and family life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>(Un)bearable freedom: Exploring the becoming of the artist in education, work and family life
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this dissertation is to explore and understand three important social contexts for the becoming of an artistic subjectivity: education, work and family life. The empirical data consist of interview material with alumni from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, staff of the institute, and a survey material from the Swedish National Artists Organization (KRO/KIF). Generally, the thesis employs a theory of conflicting understandings of labour as well as the importance of discourses and narratives for the formation of subjects. The contribution of the thesis is the analysis of a continuing conflict between being and working as an artist actualized in the social contexts explored. The arts education encouraged a romanticized understanding of art as unrelated to market value, which clashed against societal norms of career progression, survival and supporting a family. This conflict informed the subjective way in which the respondents related to their activities as artists, workers and relatives. The concept of freedom can be understood as mediating this conflict in the sense of forming the basis of attraction to the arts but also a burden as it relates to insecurity. The analysis found several subjective representations of the artist that indicate strong norms of individuality and self-direction, understood as the outcome of a working life fraught with personal responsibility for coping with insecurity. As such, the thesis is part of ongoing research on changes in working life towards non-standard and sometimes precarious working conditions.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med avhandlingen är att undersöka och förstå tre betydelsefulla sociala kontexter för konstruktionen av en konstnärlig identitet: utbildning, arbete och familj. Avhandlingens material består av intervjuer med alumner från Kungl. Konsthögskolan i Stockholm, undervisande personal på skolan, samt ett enkätmaterial från Konstnärernas riksorganisation KRO/KIF. Teoretiskt utgår avhandlingen från olika forskningsperspektiv på arbete samt diskursiv och narrativ konstruktion av subjektivitet. Avhandlingen påvisar en kontinuerlig konflikt mellan att vara eller att arbeta som konstnär. Den konstnärliga utbildningen positionerar konsten enligt romantisk tradition i motsättning till marknadslogik vilket efter utbildningen skapar en konflikt för konstnären som måste förhålla sig till normer av karriär, överlevnad av arbete och försörjning av familj. Denna konflikt påverkar hur konstnärerna subjektivt förhåller sig till sin konstnärliga aktivitet, totaliteten av sitt arbete och sin roll som anhöriga. Frihetsbegreppet kan förstås relatera till denna konflikt dels genom att utgöra en attraktion till konsten, dels genom att relatera till osäkerhet. I analysen framträdde flera konstnärliga subjektspositioner vilka alla indikerar starka normer av individualism och självtillräcklighet. Dessa kan relateras till ett arbetsliv karaktäriserat av eget ansvar för att hantera osäkerhet. Avhandlingen är därför del i en pågående forskning kring ett arbetsliv i förändring mot atypiska och även mer prekära arbetsförhållanden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 98 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 692
Keyword
Cultural work, visual artists, subjectivity, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, Konstnärligt arbete, bildkonstnärer, subjektivitet, diskursanalys, narrativ analys
National Category
Cultural Studies Performing Arts Social Work Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132391 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-132391 (DOI)9789176857175 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-25, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-07 Created: 2016-11-07 Last updated: 2016-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://journals.hioa.no/index.php/pp/article/view/869

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