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Keynote Speakers










Suntje SchmidtSuntje Schmidt

Suntje Schmidt, Deputy Head of the Research Department Dynamics of Economic Spaces, is a Research Fellow at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS) in Erkner. She graduated in Geography and American Studies in 2001 and finished her PhD in Economic Geography on “Channels, Effects and Spatial Dimensions of Knowledge Spillovers” in 2011. In her research she focuses on the spatial dimension of knowledge sharing arrangements among economic entities, volatile labour markets, and pre-conditions for the inter-regional transfer of practices and experiences. From 2010-2012 she was leader of the INTERREG IVC project “Know-Man: Knowledge Network Management in Technology Parks”.

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>> SchmidtS@irs-net.de


Once you are in you might need to get out: Labor Market Resilience in the Course of the Careers of Musical Actors

Oliver Ibert | Suntje Schmidt

The labor market for musical actors is very challenging. On the one hand it is difficult to get in: qualification requirements are high, competition is fierce and reputation is difficult to build up. On the other hand, it is often necessary to get out, once being in: market demand for roles with a stage age of older than 45 drops dramatically and it becomes increasingly difficult to fully regenerate health due to a threefold exposure to the bodily strains of acting, dancing and singing. In other words, throughout the career of a musical actor the meaning of the concept resilience can change fundamentally. While at the beginning of the career the main challenge is often to adapt to market requirements, in the second half of the career it becomes increasingly important to become adaptable to a broader spectrum of opportunities, including exit scenarios. The paper explores empirically this shift in the social construction of resilience against labor market threats during the careers of German musical actors. The paper contrasts a matched pair samples of qualitative interviews – musical actors at the beginning of their careers and more advanced actors – in order to generate empirically grounded ideal-typical accounts of the meaning of adaptation and adaptability for musical actors. The empirical focus lies on the actors’ networking strategies, their professional identities and the corresponding ways of perceiving and creating spaces.


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