The exemplary economy: a Hunterian reading of the creative industries as educative project


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This paper situates creative industries discourse in the context of an emerging Higher Education (HE) focus on graduate employability. It draws on Ian Hunter’s genealogy of the ‘aesthetico-ethical exemplar’ in order to highlight how creative industries discourse recalibrates the figure of the artist in order to model an exemplary set of capacities for economic self-management. The article suggests such a project is both; (a) more robust than the broader creative industries policy push, in so far as its educational rationality does not rest on any economic argument for the viability of the cultural sector, and is in fact attuned to a deteriorating job market for arts graduates, and (b) limited, due to the values of the cultural field and embedded moral rationalities of arts education. Such a description encourages critics of creative industries discourse to engage in a wider discussion about what kind of transferable skills arts education provides
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
JournalThe International Journal of Cultural Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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