The management and labor culture of the entertainment industry.
In popular culture, management in the media industry isfrequently understood as the work of network executives, studio developers, andmarket researchers-"the suits"-who oppose the more productive forces ofcreative talent and subject that labor to the inefficiencies and risk aversionof bureaucratic hierarchies. However, such portrayals belie the realityof how media management operates as a culture of shifting discourses,dispositions, and tactics that create meaning, generate value, and shape mediawork throughout each moment of production and consumption.Making Media Work aims to provide a deeper and more nuanced understanding ofmanagement within the entertainment industries.
Drawing from work in criticalsociology and cultural studies, the collection theorizes management as apervasive, yet flexible set of principlesdrawn upon by a wide range ofpractitioners-artists, talent scouts, performers, directors, show runners, andmore-in their ongoing efforts to articulate relationships and bridgepotentially discordant forces within the media industries.
The contributorsinterrogate managerial labor and identity, shine a light on how managementunderstands its roles within cultural and creative contexts, and reconfigurethe complex relationship between labor and managerial authority as productiverather than solely prohibitive.
Engaging with primary evidence gathered throughinterviews, archives, and trade materials, the essays offer tremendous insightinto how management is understood and performed within media industry contexts.The volume as a whole traces the changing roles of management both historicallyand in the contemporary moment within US and international contexts, and acrossa range of media forms, from film and television to video games and socialmedia.