The aim of the research is a social inquiry into the engagement of advertising students with the contemporary interdisciplinary practice of the industry, their transition into the field and early career experiences with a view to informing teaching practice, curriculum design and in particular the development of industry partnerships. On moving from the ‘pre-periphery’ (McLeod, O’Donohoe & Townley, 2011) of student life, the early career practitioner engages with the structural and organizing components of the field, combinations of capital and ways of being a practitioner. How is this reflected in their dispositions? The purpose of the study is to inform the development of new approaches to teaching/learning of advertising practice and to focus particularly on the awareness and  development of social capital as part of the University’s capital compass strategy for employability. It is also designed to deepen engagement and partnerships with industry and to promote practitioner teachers.

My role is as a practitioner who is engaged in developing the curriculum and in teaching, but also as an observer (notions of internal/external roles within the research will be important), participant and partner.  Bourdieu’s concepts of capital, habitus and field are being used to investigate the emergence of collective ways of being within specific regional and industrial settings. Specifically, the advertising industry and the emerging norms for ways of working, collaborating, succeeding and so on.

“For novice advertising creatives, the periphery is a destination rather than a point of departure, with work placements, often after a specialist college course, offering them a pre-peripheral position and contributing to their anticipatory socialization (Feldman, 1976; Merton, 1968; Sang et al., 2009). McLeod, O’Donohoe and Townley (2011)

Key Research Questions

  1. What is contemporary advertising practice?
  2. What are interdisciplinary fusion skills?
  3. How do social capital and dispositions change as students move from the pre-periphery to the periphery of contemporary advertising practice in their early career trajectories?

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