In this study, I intend to examine some aspects of the activities of cultural companies in the town of Arvika. The study is qualitative in nature and based on in-depth interviews with self-employed cultural workers, as well as representatives from Arvika municipality. Cultural policy documents have been studied to clarify the self-employed status in the cultural sector and thus their importance to the cultural life in Arvika overall.
My hope is to get a glimpse of what it means to work as a self-employed within the cultural sector in Arvika and the conditions that exist, in order to successfully run and develop their businesses.
There is a shift in cultural policy, which has led to permanent forms of employment becoming fewer and self-employment to grow ( Karlsson & Lekvall, 6 ). One can say that the cultural sector has moved in the direction from a public matter, to the more privatized ( Köping , Lantz & Stenström, 3 ). The problem with this is that the policy of self-employment has not progressed at the same rate as the amount of business. The self-employed in the cultural sector are therefore, often trapped between cultural, business, and labor market perspectives.
I am using the Australian cultural economist David Throsby `s "virtuous circle" and Bourdieu's "field theory", to see what the consequences are of the self-employeds role and position within the cultural field.
The Swedish culture bill
Tid för kultur (2009) put up a picture of the self-employed , similar to the conclusions set forth in the report Den ofrivillige företagaren (The involuntary entrepreneur) (2002). The conclusions of this report is that the self-employed are forced to run business with their passions to earn money.
The self employed have different conditions than entrepreneurs in other sectors, so the swedish policy for this group fails. The existing enterprise support is ill-suited to corporate culture conditions ( Karlsson & Lekvall, 15 and 35). State, region and municipality recognizes this problem , but do not put forward specific proposals for change.
In Arvika there is a need to improve communication between the municipality and the self-employed.