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My name is Rachel Skaggs, and I hold the Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Professorship of Arts Management at The Ohio State University. I am a member of Ohio State's department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy, where I use a sociological lens in my research and teaching about the role of art in society. Reflecting my interest in arts entrepreneurship, I am also affiliated faculty with the Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise and hold a courtesy appointment in the department of sociology.


The questions that guide my research focus on how workers in post-bureaucratic employment situations (freelance, project-based, self-employment, and other forms of free agency) are able to craft careers out of a series of self-directed projects and jobs, particularly in creative industries. I am especially interested in how workers in these situations collaborate and cooperate along the way. To answer these questions, I use a mixed-method, multi-level approach centered around social network analysis.

My current projects focus on analyses of songwriters' career pathways, arts graduates, and on the impact of COVID-19 on artists. If you are interested in accessing my interview guides or discussing ways to use a network-based sampling frame for interviews, please feel free to reach out via email. 


You can find my recent articles at PoeticsSocial Psychology Quarterly and Work and Occupations for examples of how I apply a sociological lens to studying creative industries. Listen to a discussion of this work on The Annex sociology podcast. My recent arts-management work can be accessed at The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society and through the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project. To hear more about my pedagogy and mentorship, particularly around research mentorship in this field, listen to my students and me on CAA Conversations and my conversation with Queens Podcast Lab.

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