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date: 08 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Brokerage roles in creative industries have been widely recognized but rarely studied systematically. In the research that has been done, the term gatekeeper has been used to define actors at many different positions in the networks that connect creative producers with audiences for their products. Using the concept of brokerage from social network theory, we clarify existing research on gatekeepers and cultural intermediaries by distinguishing among different structural positions, functions and motivations of brokers in creative industries. In addition to the familiar tertius gaudens and tertius iungens orientations identified by Burt (1992) and Obstfeld (2005), we add a third tertius transferens (‘the third who translates’) brokerage motivation which captures the translation and symbolic work of intermediaries in creative industries. We offer several empirical examples from the music industry and new service professions that highlight unanswered questions about the operation of modern cultural brokers.

Keywords: Creative industries, brokerage roles, gatekeeper, cultural intermediary, networks, technological disintermediation, Bourdieu, digital technology

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