Constructions of Professional Subjectivity at the Fine Arts College
Higher education can function as an important marker of seriousness in fields characterized by diffuse professional standards. Using the case of a fine arts institute, the article outlines the role of higher education in promoting the interconnection of a professional and individual subjectivity; being an artist is not merely something one does but something one is. By primarily examining interview material, it explores how an ideal position of individual self-reliance relates to the alumni of the institute. Some respondents were not “in sync” with this position and needed to seek out other resources in order to construct themselves as professional artists. However, they seldom rejected the kind of subjectivity promoted by their education, but rather renegotiated it as part of the uncertainty of their chosen field.
Keywords: arts professionals, artistic education, self-reliance, discursive repertoire
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