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Why do only some artists continue their careers after making their debut with an album, fiction book, or film? In my postdoc project, I qualitatively and quantitatively investigate this career structure in the creative industries using the case of fiction authors in Sweden. I am also writing a book, together with Erik Nylander, about conditions for art education in Sweden (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan).
The projects are a continuation of my research about conditions for cultural production, artistic product and labor markets, and careers in creative industries.
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).
Using work in valuation studies and my concept appraisal devices, I have investigated the status of self-publishing. I show that while some authors refrain from self-publishing, self-publishers and those who seek to self-publish are aware of the subordinate status of self-publishing but seek ways to establish and legitimise the quality of their work through shifting the basis of evaluation. See Subordination and Legitimation of Self-Publishing: Shifting the Basis for Evaluation of Cultural Goods (Cultural Sociology)
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).
In another article, I explore the aspiration in situations where artists’ chances for success are uncertain and are decided by gatekeepers. Interruptions to the aspiration can create existential dilemmas of unfulfilled aspirations. The unfulfillment of the aspiration may be existentially responded to through ‘urgency’ or ‘floating’, where the writer actively pushes for success or loses the aspiration. See In the Shadow of the First Big Break: The Existential Dimension of Aspiring Writers’ Careers (Recherches Sociologiques et Anthropologiques)
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)
I have also published a book that shows the history and structure of fiction debut publishing in Sweden. The book covers, qualitatively and quantitatively, the career paths of first-time authors and the literary reception of fiction debut books. For an overview of my dissertation, see the comprehensive summary.
Academic positions and degrees
2020-2022 Guest researcher, Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam.
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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