Good work? Scottish cultural workers’ narratives about working and living on islands

Lynda Harling Stalker, Kathryn A. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper sets out to ask how cultural workers on Scottish islands come to narrate their work and everyday life experiences. We ask this question in the context of two dominant doctrines that can influence whether or not these experiences are “good or bad.” The first doctrine describes attitudes toward creativity with reference to current discussions around cultural work and the idea of “creative.” The second doctrine highlights conceptions of islands as unique places with pastoral characteristics that need to be fostered and promoted. It is our contention that island cultural workers must continuously negotiate with these two frameworks in order to successfully achieve good work. If the negotiation is fraught with difficulties, the cultural worker will ultimately leave either this form of work or the island. For the purpose of this paper we focus on the narratives of two cultural workers located on two different Scottish islands to highlight the ways their particular narratives engage with the doctrines of creativity and islandness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-208
Number of pages16
JournalIsland Studies Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2016


  • Creative industries
  • Cultural workers
  • Islands
  • Scotland
  • Working narratives


Dive into the research topics of 'Good work? Scottish cultural workers’ narratives about working and living on islands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this