Cultural and creative industries are now an established area of academic research. Yet, the welcome innovations that are associated with the development of a new field of study are also matched by confusions and conjectures. The term itself, ‘cultural and creative industries’, is the subject of extensive debate. It goes hand in hand with closely related concepts such as ‘creative economy’, as well as reflecting definitional struggles aimed at conjoining or demarcating the creative and the cultural. Many of these debates have been the subject of sociological research and research in Sociology. This collection considers that specific role of sociology, and Sociology, to the study of cultural and creative industries. The e-special issue collects articles ranging from early empirical and theoretical precursors to the formal establishment of cultural and creative industries as a field of study, to more recent work considering the coherence and usefulness of the category itself.