Identities and networks in St.-Petersburg creative industries

Identities and networks in St.-Petersburg creative industries

Barmina A.S.

National Research University Higher School of Economics, St.-Petersburg, Russia

Safonova M.A.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Assoc. Prof., National Research University Higher School of Economic (St. Petersburg), St. Petersburg, Russia.

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For citation:

Barmina A.S., Safonova M.A. Identities and networks in St.-Petersburg creative industries. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 7. P. 82-92


New organizational population emerged in the larger Russian cities during 2000s. Declared goal of these organizations is distribution of contemporary artistic production. This type of organizations is labelled “creative” in contemporary sociological discussion. This label should reveal new characteristic of these institutions: synthesis of different artistic (exhibitions, performances, film screening), academic (lections and seminars) and commercial (café and shops) activities within same public space. Expansion of creative institutions in the Russian cities reflects global tendency since economies of many world cities were transformed into economy of symbolic goods. This process is described as the rise of “creative city”. These organizations are numerically growing, but they are extremely unstable demonstrating that this organizational form is not crystallized. The paper aims at describing development of creative sector in postsoviet St.-Petersburg – as a case. The study is based on two types of data: (1) monitoring of cultural media (electronic and pinted magazines focused on cultural events in the city) and (2) sample of 40 semi-structured interviews with managers and/or art curators, representing creative institutions. We discuss (1) strategies of professional networks development, (2) type of cultural products distributed by the institutions, (3) professional qualification of employees, (4) institutional goals and values adopted. Social network analysis tools are used to map interorganizational networks of the institutions. This mapping demonstrates latent value conflict arguably discovered in the patterns of organizational networks.

creative industries; cultural production; sociology of art; social networks
Content No 7, 2016