Cultural Policy Beyond the Economy

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Cultural Policy Beyond the Economy

Work, Value and the Social

9781788974660 Edward Elgar Publishing
Deborah Stevenson, Professor of Sociology and Urban Cultural Research, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Australia
Publication Date: February 2023 ISBN: 978 1 78897 466 0 Extent: 168 pp
This unique and insightful book provides a comprehensive examination of contemporary cultural policy and its discourses, influences, and consequences. It examines the factors that have led to a narrowing of cultural policy and suggests new ways of thinking about cultural policy beyond economics by reconnecting it with the practices of work, value, and the social.

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This unique and insightful book provides a comprehensive examination of contemporary cultural policy and its discourses, influences, and consequences. It examines the factors that have led to a narrowing of cultural policy and suggests new ways of thinking about cultural policy beyond economics by reconnecting it with the practices of work, value, and the social.

With a particular focus on Australia and the UK, and with reference to transnational bodies including UNESCO, this book identifies and examines influential national and international factors that have shaped cultural policy, including its implementation of an economic agenda. Deborah Stevenson retraces the foundations of contemporary cultural policy, with chapters exploring the hierarchies of legitimacy that form the basis of value and excellence, the increased hegemony of the economy within the art world complex, and the notions of class and gender as two key factors of social inequality that shape access to the arts.

Analysing cultural value, work, and the social as important points of tension and potential disruption within contemporary cultural policy, this book will be essential reading for students and scholars of arts and cultural management, cultural policy studies, cultural sociology, economics, and leisure and urban studies. It will also be of interest to students, scholars, and practitioners across the humanities and the social sciences.
Critical Acclaim
‘In a research field dominated by worthy activist polemics, Stevenson offers a cool-headed, clear, and thorough guide to the sociology of a policy struggle. Focussed on the colonisation
of art and culture by economics and its reduction to “creative industries”, Stevenson’s book offers artists, institutions, policy makers and students – everyone in the Art World Complex in fact – an opportunity to grapple with the scale, complexity and values of a much-needed policy change.’
– Adrian Franklin, University of South Australia, Australia

‘Cultural Policy Beyond the Economy: Work, Value and the Social is both an outstanding introduction to key issues in cultural policy, as well as a major contribution to the field. Thinking through issues of place, work, education, and value, Stevenson argues for a new vision of cultural policy grounded in the need to remember, and then to rethink, the social basis of culture.’
– David O'Brien, University of Sheffield, UK

‘Cultural Policy Beyond the Economy is notable not only for its exemplary scholarship but also for the eloquence of its written word. Stevenson thus appeals to both intellectual and aesthetic pleasure. Stevenson calls attention to, and suggests remedy for, today’s tendency in policy and politics to see arts and culture only as an economic good. For readers, like me, who wish to recapture the human value of the arts for individuals, communities, and nations, this book earns high marks.’
– Constance DeVereaux, University of Connecticut, US
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