Hope Labour Revisited: Post-socialist Creative Workers and Their Methods of Hope

  • Ana Alacovska
Part of the Dynamics of Virtual Work book series (DVW)


Creative work has been defined and critiqued as essentially future-oriented ‘hope labour’: underpaid work executed in the present on the assumption/speculation of future employment. This chapter outlines a theoretical framework for capturing the performative role of hope in sustaining creative careers amidst widespread precariousness and work casualisation, approaching hoping as a practice of getting through the hardships of the concrete realities of work–life. It outlines the ways in which creative workers resort to and mobilise hope to restore hopeful engagement with work amidst technological disruption, institutional failure, industrial collapse, and global competition for creative work. The study is based on a rich data set of interviews with fashion designers, musicians, actors, and new media workers in the post-socialist Balkan states of Macedonia and Albania.



Work on this chapter has been supported by grant number MK_211 (2014–2016), awarded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in the framework of the RRPP Programme coordinated and operated by the Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern Europe (IICEE) at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. The views expressed in this study are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the SDC and the University of Fribourg.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Alacovska
    • 1
  1. 1.Copenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark

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