1
CULTURAL ANALYSIS, TECHNOLOGY
AND POWER

Introduction

This opening chapter addresses two general topics at issue that are especially germane for critical and reflexive cultural policy analysis. First, there are the theoretical relations between cultural analysis and cultural policy. Second, in light of developments concerning information and communication technologies (ICTs), which include debates raging over their epochal significance, it is necessary to reconsider the problem of technological determinism and, also, remark upon the global dynamics and power relations of capitalism. Consideration of these issues should be seen as connected to the general task of making sense of change in culture and society. This relates to a host of characterizations of what has been going on lately, such as 'the postmodern condition' (Lyotard 1984 [1979]) or 'the condition of postmodernity' (Harvey 1989), titles of influential books. As well as 'postmodernization' (Crook, Pakulski and Waters 1992), characterizations include 'runaway world' (Giddens 1999), 'global risk society' (Beck 1999), 'network society' and 'the information age' (Castells 1996, 1997a and 1998). And, as is suggested in this book, the age of neo-liberal globalization.

The most significant publication on recent and perhaps also epochal change that came out around the turn of the Millennium is Manuel Castells's trilogy, The Information Age. Although widely commented upon, Castells's thesis has not been much discussed with regard to the principles of cultural analysis and problems of cultural policy in what is deemed to be a dramatically transformed socio-economic condition. There are, then, theoretical, practical and empirical issues to do with the objects of cultural analysis, the role of public policy, technological forces and global relations which are considered here.

In what follows I identify some problems associated with the policy turn in cultural studies. Since its inception, cultural studies has been concerned with emancipation.

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Rethinking Cultural Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Issues in Cultural and Media Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Editor's Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 7
  • 2: Discourses of Cultural Policy 33
  • 3: Cultural Policy Proper and as Display 61
  • 4: Rhetorics of Development, Diversity and Tourism 92
  • 5: Cul Ture, Capitalism and Critique 113
  • Glossary 143
  • References 149
  • Index 165
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