Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Professor David Hesmondhalgh

Professor of Media, Music and Culture

Clothworkers' Building North, 1.16

BA (University of Oxford, 1984), Cert Ed (University of Manchester award, Bolton Technical College, 1989), MA (Northwestern University, 1992), PhD (Goldsmiths, University of London, 1996)

Research Interests

My research interests include:

  • Media industries/cultural industries/creative industries
  • All aspects of media and cultural production, contemporary and historical
  • Music, society and culture, including popular music
  • Social theory and theories of media, and the relations between them
  • Media work, employment, careers etc.
  • Media and cultural policy

My most recent book is Culture, Economy and Politics, published by Palgrave in September 2015, and co-written with three colleagues: Kate Oakley, David Lee and Melissa Nisbett. This examines the cultural policies of the British ‘New Labour’ government of 1997 to 2010, and is intended to throw light on the relations between the key terms in the title. It covers arts and ‘creative industries’ policies, heritage, regional cultural development, and various other issues.

Much of my research has been about music; further details are below. My book, Why Music Matters (published in September 2013), is about the ways in which music might enhance people’s lives, individually and collectively, and what often stops it from doing so.

My book The Cultural Industries (Sage) is an analysis of changes and continuities in television, film, music, publishing and other industries since the 1980s, and of the rise of new media and cultural industries during that time. The third edition, published in December 2012, was a thoroughly revised, updated and expanded version of the second, published in 2007, and the second was a massively revised and updated version of the first, which was published in 2002.

Creative Labour, co-written with Sarah Baker, and published in 2011, examined work in the contemporary media and cultural industries. It was based on research funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council from 2006 to 2009. Various articles and chapters have also appeared based on this project – see below.

Finally, in answer to a question I’m often asked, my name is pronounced ‘Hez-mun-dalch’ with the stress on the first syllable. But nearly everyone gets it wrong, and I really don’t mind. The name comes from East Lancashire. And so do I.



In 2016-17, COMM2150 Music as Communication and COMM1970 Introduction to Communication Theory


I was Head of the Institute of Communications Studies from June 2010 to December 2013 – this was the name of the School of Media and Communication prior to August 2014. I am Acting Director of Research in Semester 1, 2017-18.



  • Hesmondhalgh D, Oakley K, Lee D, Nisbett M (2015) Culture, Economy and Politics: The Case of New Labour.
    DOI: 10.1057/9781137426383

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2013) Why Music Matters. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Hesmondhalgh D, Baker S (2013) Creative labour: Media work in three cultural industries.
    DOI: 10.4324/9780203855881

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2012) The Cultural Industries. 3rd edition. London, Los Angeles and New Delhi: SAGE.

  • Hesmondhalgh D, Baker S (2011) Creative Labour. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.

  • Hesmondhalgh D, Toynbee J (2008) The Media and Social Theory. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2007) The Cultural Industries. 2nd edition. London and Los Angeles: SAGE.

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2006) Media Production. Maidenhead and New York: Open University Press.

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2005) Understanding Media: Inside Celebrity. Maidenhead and New York: Open University Press.

  • Hesmondhalgh D, Negus K (2002) Popular Music Studies. London: Arnold.

  • Born G, Hesmondhalgh D (2000) Western Music and its Others: Difference, Representation and Appropriation in Music. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Journal articles


  • Banks M, Hesmondhalgh DJ (2016) “Internationalizing Labor Activism: Building Solidarity Among Writers' Guilds”, In: Curtin M; Sanson K (eds.) Precarious Creativity: Global Media, Local Labor. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 267-280
    DOI: 10.1525/luminos.10, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/95447/

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2015) “Exploitation and media labor”, In: The Routledge Companion to Labor and Media. 30-39
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/82311/

  • Hesmondhalgh D, Baker S (2015) Sex, gender and work segregation in the cultural industries. 23-36
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-954X.12238, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/82312/

  • Hesmondhalgh DJ, Meier LM (2014) “Popular music, independence and the concept of the alternative in contemporary capitalism”, In: Bennett J; Strange N (eds.) Media Independence: Working with Freedom or Working for Free?. Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies. New York and Abingdon: Routledge.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/82310/

  • Hesmondhalgh D, Zoellner A (2013) “Is Media Work Good Work? A Case Study of Television Documentary”, In: Valdivia AN (eds.) The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
    DOI: 10.1002/9781444361506.wbiems056, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/42878/

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2012) “Towards a political aesthetics of music”, In: Clayon M; Herbert T; Middleton R (eds.) The Cultural Study of Music. 2nd edition. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. 364-374

  • Hesmondhalgh DJ (2012) “Have amateur media enhanced the possibilities for good media work?”, In: Hunter D; Lobato R; Richardson M; Thomas J (eds.) Amateur Media: Social, Cultural and Legal Perspectives. Routledge. 137-149

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2010) “Music, Digitalization and Copyright”, In: Murdock G; Golding P (eds.) Digital Dynamics: Engagments & Connections. Hampton Press.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/42756/

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2009) “The digitalisation of music”, In: Creativity, Innovation and the Cultural Economy. 57-73
    DOI: 10.4324/9780203880012

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2009) “Politics, Theory and Method in Media Industries Research”, In: Holt J; Perren A (eds.) Media Industries: History, Theory, Method. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. 245-255
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/42757/

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2008) “Cultural and Creative Industries”, In: Bennett T; Frow J (eds.) The SAGE handbook of cultural analysis. Sage Publications Ltd.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/42752/

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2008) “Neoliberalism, Imperialism and the Media”, In: Hesmondhalgh D; Toynbee J (eds.) The Media and Social Theory. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. 95-111

  • Hesmondhalgh D, Toynbee J (2008) “Why Media Studies Needs Better Social Theory”, In: Hesmondhalgh D; Toynbee J (eds.) The Media and Social Theory. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. 1-24

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2008) “Cultural and Creative Industries”, In: Bennett T; Frow J (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Analysis. London and Los Angeles: Sage. 552-569

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2007) “Creative Labour as a Basis for Critique of Creative Industries Policy”, In: Lovink G; Rossiter N (eds.) MyCreativity Reader: A Critique of Creative Industries. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures. 59-68

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2007) “Recent concepts in youth cultural studies: Critical reflections from the sociology of music”, In: Hodkinson P; Deicke W (eds.) Youth Cultures. New York: Routledge. 37-50
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/43753/

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2006) “Discourse Analysis and Content Analysis”, In: Gillespie M; Toynbee J (eds.) Analysing Media Texts. Maidenhead: Open University Press. 119-156

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2006) “Inside Media Organizations: Production, Autonomy and Power”, In: Hesmondhalgh D (eds.) Media Production. Maidenhead: Open University Press. 49-90

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2005) “Producing celebrity”, In: Evans J; Hesmondhalgh D (eds.) Understanding media: Inside Celebrity. Maidenhead: Open University Press. 97-126
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/42753/

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2005) “The Production of Media Entertainment”, In: Curran J; Gurevitch M (eds.) Mass Media and Society. 4th edition. London: Hodder Arnold.

  • Hesmondhalgh D, Melville C (2002) “Urban Breakbeat Culture - Repercussions of Hip-Hop in the United Kingdom”, In: Mitchell T (eds.) Global Noise: Rap and Hip Hop Outside the USA. Hanover, CT and London: Wesleyan University Press. 86-110
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/42760/

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2001) “British Popular Music and National Identity”, In: Morley D; Robins K (eds.) British cultural studies. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. 273-286
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/42751/

  • Hesmondhalgh D (2000) “International Times: Fusions, Exoticisms, and Antiracism in Electronic Dance Music”, In: Born G; Hesmondhalgh D (eds.) Western music and its others. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press. 280-304
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/42754/

  • Born G, Hesmondhalgh D (2000) “Introduction: On Difference, Representation and Appropriation in Music”, In: Born G; Hesmondhalgh D (eds.) Western music and its others: Difference, Representation and Appropriation in Music. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press. 1-58
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/42755/

Research Centres & Groups

I am a member of the Media Industries and Cultural Production and Visual and Digital Cultures research groups. I also run, with colleagues, in other departments and institutions, The Leeds Music Reading Group. Please contact me if you’re interested in any of these.



PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students in the areas of my research interests (listed above) and in any related areas.

With colleagues, I have supervised the following students to their PhDs at Leeds:

  • Chi-wai (Charles) Cheung, Contextualising Media Power: The Case of Media Stigmatisation of Youth in Hong Kong, 2009
  • Anna Zoellner, Project Development in Independent Documentary Production, 2011
  • Daniel Mutibwa, Media Production and Ethnic Identity: A Comparative Analysis of Ethnic and Religious Minority Media Production in Britain and Germany, 2012
  • Jason Cabañes, Through Migrant Lenses: Indians, Koreans, and the Crisis of Voice in Mediated, Multicultural Societies, 2013
  • Divya Maharajh, Feminine Experience: Media Education and Gender Representation, 2013
  • Xingqing Bia, Labour in the Chinese Internet Industries, 2014
  • Christiaan De Beukelaer, From Cultural Development to Culture for Development: The Music Industries in Burkina Faso and Ghana, 2015

Current research students are as follows (details of their topics can be found under ‘People/Postgraduate Research Students’):


Nur Abdullah Karim

Jon Marshall

Luca Antoniazzi

Jennifer Carlberg

Andreas Rauh Ortega

Bethany Usher

Chris Hladowski

Ellis Jones

Jeremy Vachet


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