Whose cultural value? Representation, power and creative industries
journal contributionposted on 30.07.2018, 10:20 by Ele Belfiore
The debate around ‘cultural value’ has become increasingly central to policy debates on arts and creative industries policy over the past ten years and has mostly focused on the articulation and measurement of ‘economic value’, at the expense of other forms of value—cultural, social, aesthetic. This paper’s goal is to counter this prevalent over-simplification by focusing on the mechanisms through which ‘value’ is either allocated or denied to cultural forms and practices by certain groups in particular social contexts. We know that different social groups enjoy different access to the power to bestow value and legitimise aesthetic and cultural practices; yet, questions of power, of symbolic violence and misrecognition rarely have any prominence in cultural policy discourse. This article thus makes a distinctive contribution to creative industry scholarship by tackling this neglected question head on: it calls for a commitment to addressing cultural policy’s blind spot over power and misrecognition, and for what McGuigan (2006: 138) refers to as ‘critique in the public interest’. To achieve this, the article discusses findings of an AHRC-funded project that considered questions of cultural value, power, media representation and misrecognition in relation to a participatory arts project involving the Gypsy and Traveller community in Lincolnshire, England.
The research presented in this article was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (award number AH/ L005115/1).
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies