Cultural Industries and the Production of Culture

Cultural Industries and the Production of Culture

Cultural Industries and the Production of Culture

Cultural Industries and the Production of Culture

Synopsis

Cutting-edge perspectives on the functioning of cultural industries are offered in this volume, which explores the media, entertainment & artistic sectors. Contributors place these industries in the new economy & suggest ways in which they can contribute to urban & regional economic & social development.

Excerpt

Since the early 1980s, a so-called new economy has steadily risen to prominence as a focus of employment and output growth in virtually all the major capitalist societies. This new economy is represented primarily by sectors such as high-technology manufacturing, neo-artisanal consumer products and diverse services, all of which have a propensity to take organizational shape as complex value-added networks. the operating features of these networks rest on their doubly-faceted character as congeries of many small firms together with more restricted cohorts of large establishments, the latter, more often than not, forming units within even larger corporate conglomerates. At the same time, these networks are much given to high levels of organizational and technological flexibility, transactions-intensive inter-firm relations and the production of design-intensive outputs.

One of the most important segments of this new economy comprises a group of industries that can be loosely identified as suppliers of cultural products (Scott, 2000). the rapid growth and spread of these industries in recent decades is a reflection of the increasing convergence that is occurring in modern society between the economic order on the one hand and systems of cultural expression on the other hand (Lash and Urry, 1994). These industries produce an enormous and ever-increasing range of outputs. Examples of these, all of which figure prominently in the present book, are jewelry (Pollard), music (French et al., Gibson and Connell, Power and Hallencreutz), video games (Aoyama and Izushi), film and television (Coe and Johns), new media (Bathelt), fashion design (French et al., Santagata, Rantisi) and the visual arts (McRobbie, Valette and Bautès).

The industries that make up the contemporary cultural economy are bound together as an object of study by three important common features. First, they are all concerned in one way or another with the creation of products whose value rests primarily on their symbolic content and the ways in which it stimulates the experiential reactions of consumers (Bourdieu, 1971; Pine and Gilmore, 1999). Second, they are generally subject to the effects of (Ernst) Engels' Law, which suggests that as disposable income expands so consumption

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