Agency and Structure: The Case of Radio

  • Phillip McIntyre


I have argued that the most adequate synthesis of ideas we could use to understand creativity may be found in the systems model of creativity initially proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I have also argued that this model is similar in many ways to the ideas on cultural production developed by Pierre Bourdieu. While they are certainly not identical, both of these views appear to displace the notion of the individual being at the centre of creativity and cultural production but at the same time recognise the individual agent’s ability to make choices out of a set of structures that bound their actions. To my mind they are both attempts to redress the questions raised by the supposed antipathy of structure and agency that tend to exist in subjectivist or objectivist accounts relevant to this topic. That is, this reconceptualised way of seeing creativity and cultural production denies that individuals can’t help but act in the ways they’ve been predetermined to do. Nor does it accept that individuals are absolutely free to make their own creative decisions regardless of the structures, discourses and so on that surround them. This resolution of the actions of both agency and structure can be highlighted when we look at an actual case in operation.


Cultural Production Successive Government Liberal Government Incumbent Government British Broadcasting Corporation 
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© Phillip McIntyre 2012

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  • Phillip McIntyre

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