Work is an area in which we spend a large part of our lives, and in which we invest a lot of our ideas about who we are in life. This might involve ideas about building a career, professional aspirations, the social relations we build in the workplace, status and so on. Who we are, what we are capable of and how we fit in are central questions posed to us when we enter an organisation, via a recruitment and selection process based on an applicant profile and a job description. As such, it should come as no surprise that identity is a major part of our working life, and that those who study work and organisation consider it important to examine. But how does identity come into the work of creative and independent workers? How do identity issues affect those in the music sector, who often work autonomously? For them, there is no clearly delineated identity carved out within a formal organisational setting. At the same time, however, identity can play an especially significant role for them, since their output is often seen as an extension of the inner world of its creator(s) and a symbol of their identities, both by creators themselves and by audiences or consumers. Like any product of our professional, artistic or commercial endeavours, for a singer-songwriter making and performing music is a project of self-realisation. This is probably why a conversation about a person’s artfully designed creations tends to turn into attempts to make sense of his or her self – what they find essential about themselves, how they view themselves in relation to others, how they present themselves to the outside world, how they are being seen by their ‘audience’ and what produces pride or doubts about their ‘selves’. In this chapter we draw close to workers’ lived experience and sensemaking efforts by adopting a perspective that places identity questions centre stage.
|Title of host publication||Organising and music: Theory, practice and performance|
|Editors||N. Beech, C. Gilmore|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|