Henrik Fürst

senior lecturer at Department of Sociology, Faculty

Visiting address:
Engelska parken
Thunbergsv. 3H

Postal address:
Box 624
751 26 UPPSALA

Also available at

My courses


Artistic product and labor markets as well as artistic careers in creative industries are permeated by quality uncertainty. The uncertainty is especially salient in aspiring writers careers as they often lack a track record of published works. My dissertation is about the quality uncertainty pertaining to aspiring writers' attempts to become first-time published writers. I investigate how both publishers and aspiring writers deal with the initial uncertainty about whether the writers' creative work is of the 'right' or 'wrong' quality to be selected by a publishing house in the publishing market.

The dissertation is based on 80 qualitative interviews and contributes to the study of market uncertainty in artistic labor markets and artistic careers, and contributes specifically to the fields of economic sociology, sociology of culture, and valuation studies.

I have introduced the concept appraisal device to conceptualize how people assess their own abilities and the quality of their work before they are assessed by gatekeepers in cultural markets. See Aspiring Writers and Appraisal Devices under Market Uncertainty (Acta Sociologica).

I have also introduced a way of conceptualizing the discovery process of unsolicited cultural goods in gatekeeping. See Making the Discovery: The Creativity of Selecting Fiction Manuscripts from the Slush Pile (Symbolic Interaction).

Moreover, as most aspiring artists are rejected by gatekeepers in cultural markets, I have also studied and conceptualized four ways in which rejection as failure is handled in markets conditioned by uncertainty. See Handling Rejection as Failure: Aspiring Writers Getting the Rejection Slip. (Valuation Studies)

For an overview of my dissertation, and how these articles are connected and belong to a broader academic context, see the comprehensive summary of my dissertation.

Academic positions and degrees

2019-2022 Postdoctoral Researcher in Sociology, Department of Sociology, Uppsala University (funded by the Swedish Research Council)
2018-2019 Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Department of Sociology, Uppsala University
2017 Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Department of Sociology, Mälardalen University
2017, Ph.D. in Sociology, Uppsala University. Dissertation: "Selected or Rejected? Assessing Aspiring Writers' Attempts to Achieve Publication"
2009-2011 Research Assistant in Sociology, Department of Leadership and Management, Swedish Defence University.
2011 (January - June) Lecturer in Education, Department of Education, Stockholm University.
2010 M.Sc. Education, Stockholm University.
2008 B.Sc. Sociology, Stockholm University.


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