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Funding classical music: a comparison of Norwegian public policy and practitioner perspectives

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posted on 11.12.2020, 15:08 by Ådne Meling
This thesis examines ways in which public funding of the classical music sector is legitimised by the Norwegian public sector and by classical music practitioners working in Norway. The thesis examines public policy documents ssued by public authorities on the three levels of government in Norway, and the funding rationales that are expressed in these. With regards to the practitioner perspective, the thesis is informed by 37 in-depth semi-structured interviews of classical music practitioners. The thesis contributes to knowledge within the research area of cultural policy studies in three different ways. First, the thesis provides a new way of categorising funding rationales for the arts. This categorisation is built on a systematic review of the empirical material used in the thesis, and it is informed by formal requirements of typologies. The thesis finds that the funding is underpinned by three forms of rationales: Equality, collective well-being and the intrinsic value of art. Secondly, the thesis contributes to knowledge about the relationship between public funding rationales for the classical music sector that are expressed by practitioners and by the Norwegian public sector, respectively. The rationales expressed by practitioners and public authorities are compared within the structure of a thematic analysis. The main themes of this
analysis are the three aforementioned rationales: Equality, collective well-being and the intrinsic value of art. The interviewees generally expressed a stronger preference for the equality rationale, and a more spiritual conception of the intrinsic value of art, than the Norwegian public sector. On the other hand, the creative economy rationale, which is
considered an important rationale by the Norwegian public sector for the promotion of collective well-being, was considered less relevant by the interviewees. Thirdly, the thesis discusses possible interpretations of the viewpoints expressed by the interviewees and by the public sector. More specifically, the thesis discusses possible ways of understanding how some general worldviews might inform the interviewees’ ways of legitimising public funding of the sector within which they are employed, and possible ways
of understanding why the interviewees emphasised other public funding rationales than the Norwegian public sector does.



  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • Social and Policy Studies

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© Ådne Meling

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.




Eleonora Belfiore ; Line Nyhagen

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