Some notes about Neilson (2008) etc.

Posted: May 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: creative industries | No Comments »

The research of ‘Labor, Migration, Creative Industry, Risk’ done by Neilson (2008) mainly focuses on the relationship between migrant networks and creative industry. Migrant networks in China consist of Chinese migrant workers and foreigners. For the former, it seems that the relationship between migrant workers and creative industry is not very obvious. Migrant workers usually engage in manual work, but creative work is always mental labor. However, the deep relation should be dug. Both infrastructure construction of creative industry and exploiture of real estate which accompanies by the development of creative industry need a flood of cheap labor, Ned & Neilson (2008) also indicated in ‘Precarity as a Political Concept, or, Fordism as Exception’. Large influxes of migrant works solve the problem of a lack of labor force. For the later, as a special part of the migrations, foreigners who have professional knowledge have become a new power and bring international influence to creative industry in China. The cause-effect chain in these relations can be described as follows: cheap labors support the development of real estate, and then the development of real estate invests the creative industry. And the prospering creative industry offers a large amount of jobs for migrations, but drives original inhabitants. Ned & Neilson (2008 p.61) further point out that creative industry has a large capacity that ‘the highly diverse composition of precarity gathered around the sign of creative labor’.

Ross’s study of ‘The New Geography of Work: Power to the Precariou’s (2008) concerns about the features and conditions of migrant workers in creative industry. She points out that migrants play important roles but are always low-skill workers in creative industry. There will be no guarantee of their work condition and rights. However, their precarity can help escaping the state’s strictures and capitalist discipline.

Be different from the authors above, in the article of ‘Migrant Workers, Collaborative Research and Spatial Pressures: An Interview with Meng Yue’, Ned & Meng Yue (2008) place the migrant workers to a broader social space and discuss the creative life of migrant workers in the edge of the city. A great number of migrant workers assemble in the periphery of the city. However, their attitudes of the edge are quite complex. On one hand, they do not accept the edge as their home and do not want to locate in this place. Some of them hope to go back to their hometown, and others dreamed of melting into the real urban life. On the other hand, migrant workers recognize this life style to a certain extend. They always bring their folks. In addition, they tend to use something related to their works to beautify their environment. These can be considered as methods to express their life.

Neilson, Brett and Rossiter, Ned (2008) ‘Precarity as a Political Concept, or, Fordism as Exception’, Theory, Culture & Society 25.7/8: 51-72.

Neilson, Brett (2008) ‘Labour, Migration, Creative Industries, Risk’, Urban China 33: 42-43.

Ross, Andrew (2008) ‘The New Geography of Work: Power to the Precarious?’, Theory, Culture & Society 25.7/8: 31-49.

Rossiter, Ned and Meng Yue (2008) ‘Migrant Workers, Collaborative Research and Spatial Pressures: An Interview with Meng Yue’, Urban China 33: 44-47.

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