Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN02_02b: Cultural Policy and Cultural Participation
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Chris Mathieu, Lund University
Location: GM.307
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

Show help for 'Increase or decrease the abstract text size'

Older Audiences and Cultural Policy

Tasos Zembylas1, Vera Gallistl2

1University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria; 2University of Vienna, Austria

Older audiences – 24% of the Austrian population is 60+ years old – occupy a rather marginalised position in the discourse of arts and culture. Many cultural policy programmes emphasise the cultural education of children and young people – which is worthy of support – but they seem to ignore the large group of older people. We worked on a research project (2016-2018) with the first intention being to explore the field: Who provides cultural educational offers that are consciously aimed at older people? And, what are the implicit images of ageing that are put forward by those offers? The second aim was to closely analyse some selected cultural offers to deepen our understanding of internal and external barriers as well as of the factors that inhibit inclusive policies in arts organisations. The third aim was to formulate some recommendations for the Austrian cultural policy authorities to improve the quantity and quality of cultural educational offers for older participants.

The methodical approach combined an online survey to identify relevant providers and networks, and 6 case studies, which included field observations, expert interviews, quantitative questionnaires and episodic interviews with participants. The criteria for the selection of the 6 case studies related to the inclusion of different art forms (e.g. theatre, visual arts, dance, singing, poetry slam), by different organisations (public and private organisations, cultural and other educational organisations) from various Austrian regions. In the conference we would like to present and discuss the main results of this empirical project.

How Mega-Galleries Transform The Art World – Monopoly And Its Consequences

Iolanda-Georgiana Anastasiei

Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The main issue I address in my study is that of the ever-growing phenomenon of small or emerging galleries that are closing because of the uncontrollable expansion of mega-galleries which have a great influence in the contemporary art world. In order to illustrate this process that led to a monopoly of mega-galleries in the art world I will be analyzing their structure and functioning mechanisms in relation to the contemporary art market. I consider the art market to be a defining feature in the understanding of this issue, given the fact that the market is an integrated part of the art world.

Starting from Arthur Danto’s approach that sees the art world as a network of conventions, as well as from Hans Abbing’s perspective that defines the value in art as being socially-determined, the present study will address some fundamental questions: What are the organization policies of mega-galleries? How did they manage to reach a monopoly in the art world and how is their expansion related to recent transformations in the global social-economic system? What solutions would there be for small galleries to develop and to continue existing in a context dominated by mega-galleries? For a proper analysis of the methods specific to mega-galleries and for an investigation of the possibilities that emerging galleries can have in the context of the contemporary art world, I will focus on a case study involving three mega-galleries with great cultural and economic capital: Gagosian, Pace and Hauser & Wirth.

Site Under Construction: The Reshaping of Hong Kong Culture After 1997

Marco, Zexun Zhang

Queen's university Belfast, United Kingdom

The proposed project is focusing on studying Hong Kong government’s cultural policy after the hand-over in 1997, which will compare past cultural policy in colonisation area and the intervention from Chinese central government in a globalization context.

I will take West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), which is a Government-led urban regeneration cultural project, to exam the authority’s intention and ambition to construct the territory into cultural hub in greater Asia that is also a commend trend to reveal policy mobility from Europe to the others.

This suddenly cultured policy from the government provokes questions concerning its role in achieving status and visible cultural capital among current global phenomenon – the emergence of ‘global cities of the arts’ or the now global aspiration among major cities to be a ‘Capital of Culture’. By examining the Hong Kong’s cultural policy after 1997, the thesis intends to discuss the local government’s intention to inculcate a specific cultural taste as constructing certain habitus (Pierre Bourdieu). Moreover, by drawing upon Marxist’s formulation of Ideology and Cultural Hegemony, the thesis will create a framework of analysis how the central government intervenes in building local identity through culture projects after long-term absent in colonial period.

Overall, I argue that the Hong Kong culture is an extension of Lingnan Culture (Cantonese culture) that originated from Southern China. The operation of construction and administration of WKCD should handle to Hong Kong cultural experts, rather than adopting western mode or tangling with bureaucracy. And the cultural projects should genuinely response to the needs from all social classes.

Towards Social Prescribing – Do Arts Come For Free?

Simon Procter

Nordoff Robbins, United Kingdom

The recent move in the UK towards “social prescribing” has highlighted the role that health policy makers consider the arts able to play in addressing contemporary concerns around healthy lifestyles. At the same time, however, health policy is constructed around an assumption that arts come at no cost. Recently announced funding for social prescribing is to be used to employ people who will refer NHS patients to the arts, not into funding the arts activities to which they are referred.

This presentation asks what an appropriate sociologically-informed response might be – not only from formal agencies such as Arts Council England, the Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland, but also from grassroots arts organisations and other providers which have long been endeavouring to involve in their work people who might otherwise be excluded from cultural activity, but who (for the very same reasons) might most stand to benefit from it. Whilst there are frequent attempts to justify funding of such activities on the basis of health economics, there is also a parallel track of social justification which draws on strands such as rights to culture, social capital and empowerment. There is also controversy within arts providers as to what the role of “professionals” should be.

What does sociology have to offer here?