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Cultural and Media Policy Studies News and Events


Seminar - Joint Sociology/Centre for Cultural & Media Policy Studies

The rise of the ‘neo-precariat’? The emerging precarious challenges for and responses of formal creative labour in advertising and public relations industries

Dr. Tommy Tse, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong

Wednesday 7th November, IAS, Millburn House, 13:00-14:30.

In view of the changing state of the creative workforce, this presentation reworks the traditional concept of precarity as a habituated (rather than contingent) state, to explore the diversity of precarisation processes in the creative sector. In doing so it critiques Standing’s (2016) theorisation of the ‘precariat’ as a ‘class-in-the-making’, based on an increasingly temporary employment status and lacking seven forms of labour-related security. The term ‘neo-precarity’ is coined to describe the emerging, normalising perceptions of insecurity among full-time creative labourers. Theoretically, this study identifies the drivers and patterns of three new forms of neo-precarious experience and their derived anxieties and dissatisfactions. Empirically, it demonstrates how technologisation, intergenerational conflicts and the disempowerment of creativity constitute various forms of perceived insecurity among creative workers, including professional status and job status insecurity. The findings illustrate how interactions of Hong Kong public relations and advertising workers with the environmental context, institutional and organisational factors, and multiple actors are reshaping their definitions of career, career success and self-actualisation. Rather than a unique hallmark for non-standard workers, I argue that precarity should be reconceptualised as inherent to—in different degrees—all labour-capital relationships.

Alumni News - Devoch meet with Tony Spong of AAR, London


On Tuesday 16th October, two graduates from the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy at the University of Warwick reunited with guest lecturer Tony Spong from the AAR in London shortly after a meeting with a new client.

The business partners, Don Lee (Li, Xiaoming) from the MA International Cultural Policy and Management course and Jonathan Sarabadu from the MA Global Media and Communications course connected with Tony Spong from the AAR who helped to further the Warwick Alumni’s business which is now in it’s 2nd year running. The partners met each other in the centre’s welcoming event in 2015 and the two have developed the partnership since.

Tony Spong, Managing Partner of the AAR, supported Devoch by providing his in-depth understanding of marketing and agency roles. The Warwick graduates first met Tony through the University and valued the support and expertise so much that they have continued to collaborate with their University and lecturers alongside their business development. Don Lee, a Chinese national, sponsored by the University of Warwick has embraced the British business culture becoming a finalist in the IoD’s Director of the Year whilst Jonathan Sarabadu, has continued his service in the RAF Media Reserves squadron whilst developing his cultural understanding of Chinese culture and it’s language. Their company, Devoch, specialises in supporting British companies planning and implementing their strategy to integrate into the Chinese market.

For more information go to:


Mon 22 Oct 2018, 10:08 | Tags: Alumni News Students Faculty of Arts

Research Seminar - Film representations of refugees and migrants in Fortress Europe - Thomas Austin, Reader in Media & Film, University of Sussex


Wednesday, 31st October, 13:00-14:00, G50, Millburn House


This talk examines representations of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in some recent fiction films and documentaries, largely made by white Europeans. Austin will pay particular attention to the symbolic and ethical implications of decisions made by filmmakers, including questions of agency, benefaction, voice and individuation.


In contrast to the indifference or outright hostility with which migrants and refugees have repeatedly been treated, a well-intentioned but Eurocentric trope, evident in both fiction and documentary films, (Le Havre, Terraferma, Ode to Lesvos) follows the attempts made by ‘ordinary’ citizens to help those arriving at the continent’s borders. This celebration of benefaction often reduces the recipients of such hospitality to narrative prostheses, whose main function is to enhance the characterisation of white European characters.


By contrast, Mediterranea shuns the benefaction template to explore links between clandestine immigration and cheap undocumented labour which underpins Europe’s neoliberal economies. In addition, the documentary Les Sauteurs presents migrants’ own actions as in part a form of political resistance, while Imagining Emanuel interrogates the scrutiny and discipline endured by asylum seekers, processes that form part of the unmarked ‘objective violence’ that sustains the European system.



Thomas Austin has published widely on both popular and documentary film, including such seminal film studies texts as From Antz to Titanic: Reinventing Film Analysis (Pluto Press) and Hollywood, Hype, and Audiences: Selling and Watching Popular Film in the 1990s (Manchester University Press)

He is currently co-editing (with Angelos Koutsourakis) Cinema of Crisis: Film and Contemporary Europe (Edinburgh University Press, 2020) which traces European filmmakers’ diverse responses to interlinked upheavals and emergencies of the past three decades, including: the revolutions of 1989 and the collapse of the eastern bloc; deindustrialisation and financialisation; the 2007-8 crash and eurozone debt crisis; escalating neoliberal policies and austerity; 'post-democratic' tendencies; scapegoating, exclusionary politics and 'illiberal democracies' within the EU; 'Fortress Europe' and the current 'refugee / migrant crisis'.

Please contact Paula Watkins to RSVP (

Thu 18 Oct 2018, 12:06 | Tags: Research Seminars Events Faculty of Arts

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