Perspectives in Business Anthropology: Cultural Production, Creativity and Constraints

Brian Moeran

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    This paper draws on extensive fieldwork in a wide range of creative industries to argue that creativity itself is under-theorized, and should be considered as both enabled and inhibited by numerous constraints guiding the choices made by creative personnel during the course of their work. Six sets of constraints are outlined in the context of different forms of cultural production: material, temporal, spatial, social, representational and economic. It is argued that the performance of creative work is similar in part to Turner's concept of "communitas," when an aura of individual creativity is passed to other participants. This kind of liminal space is also found in creative industry ritual events, which enable participants to communicate on an equal footing and gain knowledge and connections that they can then use at work in their normal everyday lives. These in turn may have a long-term effect on cultural production, creativity and constraints.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Business Anthropology
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)16-30
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Business Anthropology
    • Corporate Culture
    • Production
    • Anthropology
    • Cultural Production

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