Dissertation Abstracts

Work Hard, Party Harder: The Work of DJs in the City of São Paulo

Author: Pina, Marcos Roberto M, pinaroberto@uol.com.br
Department: Sociology
University: Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil
Supervisor: Jacob Carlos Lima
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: Portuguese

Keywords: DJs , Entrepreneurship , Networking , Leisure
Areas of Research: Work , Leisure , Labor Movements


The study of how contemporary work relations are changing can benefit from a closer look at non-traditional occupations, especially occupations in the sphere of music and art which are commonly understood to be the opposite of work. The study of work in the music and art scenes, provide promising ways to expand our understanding of flexible work, after the productive restructuration. In these settings, we are able to revisit traditional and recurring concepts associated with the sociology of work, including subordination, autonomy, formality, informality, and so forth. This study takes as its focus the work of nightclub DJs in the city of São Paulo; these DJs are responsible for handling and creating the songs that are played in parties. The data reveals variations in agreement contracts as well as the benefits and construction of DJs’ identities as workers. We have analyzed DJs’ dependence on weak-linked networks for entering and maintaining their jobs, their multifaceted, decentered and bordering identification with artistic creation and subordinate work – paralleling the worker and the independent musician. This study is based on qualitative methodology, specifically, semi-structured interviews and ethnographic fieldwork.