Being in the zone

woman reading newspaper
Workers in the cultural, media and creative industries are often required to inhabit or even ‘become’ their jobs.

Workers in the cultural, media and creative industries are often required to inhabit or even ‘become’ their jobs, to immerse themselves, without question according to a visiting UK sociologist.

In its more positive versions, there is a recurrent idea that captures that special moment of perfect creative synthesis between worker and the work– the moment of ‘being in the zone’ (BITZ)

Dr Mark Banks from the The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK will examine BITZ from a sociological perspective at a free public lecture at Monash University.

Dr Banks said BITZ describes the epitomic, optimal fusion of the productive mind and the labouring body.

“The aim is to challenge affirmative (often psychologistic) readings of BITZ that seek to de-politicise the conditions of its emergence and gloss over its less progressive social effects,” Dr Banks said.

Dr Banks will also discuss whether BITZ simply represents another form of oppression, or does it retain some potential for informing and shaping understandings of better kinds of cultural work.

Dr Banks’ visit is being hosted by the Research Unit in Media Studies (RUMS), a collective of Monash researchers who practice and promote media-based scholarship in Australia and internationally. 

RUMS Co-Director, Associate Professor Brett Hutchins said we were lucky to have a visit from a scholar of Dr Banks’ standing. 

“This is an important lecture that connects with the lived experiences of the many students and professionals who we engage both through our research and teaching,” Associate Professor Hutchins said.

Dr Banks is reader in sociology in the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. He is the author of The Politics of Cultural Work (2007) and co-editor (with Rosalind Gill and Stephanie Taylor) of Theorising Cultural Work (2013). He has written extensively on work in the cultural and creative industries, cultural policy and cultural value – most recently in relation to craft workers, artists and jazz musicians.

‘Being in the Zone’ of Cultural Work will take place on Thursday 2 May, 3-4.30pm in Building T, Room 2.26 at Monash University’s Caulfield campus. It is part of RUMS’ 2013 Seminar Series.

For more information contact Associate Professor Brett Hutchins on 03 9903 2098 or Brett.Hutchins@monash.edu.

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