Freelance Film Workers in Lebanon: An Ethnographic Network Analysis

By Arek Dakessian.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 15, 2015 $US5.00

The evolution of labor from long-term and stable contracts to precarious project-based arrangements has led to an increased conflation of the social and the professional. One way to make sense of this evolution is to look closely at work in film, which has functioned on a project basis for over half a century now, driven by social and cultural capital in securing further work. Studies in film labor, however, have tended to be situated in developed contexts rather than developing environments where workers have fewer resources to draw upon. This paper engages social capital in Lebanon’s film-making industry, focusing on a network of individuals in their mid-20s led by more senior mentors and gatekeepers to the industry. This ethnographic network study is placed within the wider context of a politically unstable, diverse, and divided Lebanese society. With time, the fluid network takes on increasingly social values alongside its professional function. How does the network accommodate for the ever-changing mobilities of its members, then? How are balances of power within the network affected by the ever-changing positionality of its members?

Keywords: Cultural Industries, Social Network Analysis, Beirut

The Global Studies Journal, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.45-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 15, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 564.557KB)).

Arek Dakessian

PhD Candidate, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


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