"A rich selection of readings that expose the shadowy underworld of critics, bloggers, tweeters and stylists who have become essential guides to the good life of cultural consumption... a long overdue examination of how cultural intermediaries work, and how their work supports the new capitalist economy."
- Sharon Zukin, Brooklyn College and City University
"An array of talented contributors, skilfully brought together by the editors, show how the concept of cultural intermediaries can cast light on cultural production, and on media, culture and society."
- David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds
Cultural intermediaries are the taste makers defining what counts as good taste and cool culture in today's marketplace. Working at the intersection of culture and economy, they perform critical operations in the production and promotion of consumption, constructing legitimacy and adding value through the qualification of goods. Too often, these are processes that remain invisible to the consumer's eye and in scholarly debates about creative industries.
The Cultural Intermediaries Reader offers the first, comprehensive introduction to this exciting field of research, providing the conceptual and practical tools needed to analyse these market actors. The book:
Surveys the theoretical terrain through accessible, in-depth primers to key approaches (Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Callon and the new economic sociology).
Equips readers with a practical guide to methodology that highlights the central features and challenges of conducting cultural intermediary research.
Challenges stereotypes and narrow views of cultural work through a diverse range of case studies, including creative directors of advertising and branding campaigns, music critics, lifestyle chefs, assistants in book shops and fashion outlets, personal trainers, bartenders and more.
Brings the field to life through a wealth of ethnographic data from research in the US, UK and around the world, in original chapters written by some of the leading scholars in the field.
Invites readers to engage with proposed new directions for research, and comparative analyses of cultural intermediaries' historical development, material practices, and cultural and economic impacts.
The book will be an essential point of reference for scholars and students in sociology, critical management, cultural studies, and media studies with an interest in cultural economy, creative labour, and the past, present and future intersections between production and consumption.