Academic research and creative industries: a brief and partial genealogy


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a quick, rough,and semi-historical overview of the relationship between academic research/theory and the development of concepts of creative/cultural industry. Lecture for MA Music, Innovation and Entrepreneurship students at the University of the West of Scotland.

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Academic research and creative industries: a brief and partial genealogy

  1. 1. Academic research and ‘creative industries’ A brief and partial genealogy Graham Jeffery
  2. 2. Complex relationships between ‘academia’ and ‘industry’• Different types of university• Founded by philanthropists• The 19th C. technical/vocational university• Strathclyde motto ‘useful learning’ vs. Glasgow as medieval foundation ‘community of scholars’• What’s the function of the university? Vocational? Social? Technological?• Humboldt – liberal university and social improvement• Where do ideas come from….?
  3. 3. Culture and industry• Different intellectual/theoretical traditions/perspectives• Analysing ‘realities’ – applying critique, analysis, theory• ‘Applied’ or ‘pure’ research – a common but tricky distinction• Mobility/porosity between academy and industry• the ‘academies’ started life as ‘learned societies’ – places where knowledge was codified, licensed, validated – eg Royal Academy of Arts (18th C.) _ Renaissance Italy, etc• Academy confers status on knowledge– academicians etc
  4. 4. Culture and industry (2)• Evolution of cultural systems – for circulation of cultural commodities – publishing, theatre, the concert hall etc.• How do musicians/artists/artisans earn a living? Systems of patronage and funding• Commissioned art• Church, state andprivate investment
  5. 5. Contemporary cultural norms - shaped by Victorian values?• Culture as ‘public good’ and means of ‘self improvement’• Ameliorating the effects of rapid industrialization• Eg Glasgow museums and galleries• Eg Burrell collection – curiosity about world linked to rapid globalisation/colonisation• Circuits of collections – buying, selling, displaying cultural goods – private wealth then public endowment• Display, power, symbolic economy
  6. 6. Public collections
  7. 7. Culture ‘high’ and ‘low’• Critique of industrialization• William Morris and John Ruskin – the handmade as antidote to mass produced commodity• The aestheticisation of everyday life – origins of the modern design industry• Revival of academic interest in folk movements, popular culture, oral tradition, linked to anthropological exploration of ‘other’ cultures and global encounter/migration – 17th C onwards this accelerates with colonisation/globalisation
  8. 8. Design and the everyday
  9. 9. Marx and Weber• Capital and labour• Status and symbolic violence – capital confers privileges• Theories of class struggle• Class as basis for cultural affiliations – official culture, popular culture, everyday culture• Culture as a product of material/economic circumstances• ‘All that is solid melts into air’ – circulation of capital/market exchange creates dizzying modernity and destroys apparently ‘solid’ beliefs/values• Commodity fetishism – modern economic theory and theories of value
  10. 10. Antonio Gramsci• Cultural hegemony – ideology of ‘common sense’ values• Consented coercion – culture, symbolic power and authority• Contestation of dominant culture• Why don’t people see the conditions of their own oppression?
  11. 11. Mass movements – cultural practices 1920s/1930s great social unrest
  12. 12. Theodor Adorno• Critique of ‘mass culture’ and popular music• Culture of domination by capital• Critical theory• Cultural pessimism of 1930s – mass movements, rise of fascism, authoritarianism, rapid technological innovation• Key insights into the permeation of musical life by market relations – publishing, recording industries, radio and the effects of this
  13. 13. Mass media
  14. 14. Raymond Williams – culture and society• Cultural materialism – the processes by which/through which cultural artefacts are produced• Emphasis on cultural production as a social process• The rise of media and cultural studies – studies of systems of production and representation• How media produces subjectivities and identities• Complexities of advanced capitalism• Beyond literary criticism to ‘critique’
  15. 15. Pierre Bourdieu• Sociology of culture• Social, symbolic capital – the cultural value of social practices• Systems of representation and class distinction• Habitus, capital, field• Aesthetic preferences based on class positions
  16. 16. Counter-cultures (1960s)
  17. 17. Birmingham school – cultural studies• 1960s/70s – consumption as a creative act? Beyond consumption/production distinctions• Youth, labour, subcultural theory• Dick Hebdige – subculture as resistance• Paul Willis – popular culture and youth culture – identifying forms of youth culture as emancipatory• Angela McRobbie – feminist critique, teenage subcultures, fashion, everyday cultural practices• Applied cultural theory – understanding everyday life and explaining ‘lived experience’
  18. 18. Difference, hybridity, postmodernity• Identity politics• Race, class and gender• Stuart Hall – postcolonial studies• Paul Gilroy – the Black atlantic – cultural politics• New forms of cultural enterprise – cultural industries as enabling transcending of class divides? Thatcherism, markets, choice, channels• Questions of pleasure, consumption, shopping…?
  19. 19. The ‘cultural economy’• Cultural goods, cultural services, circulation of cultural commodities• Stories of Glasgow – representations of place, identity, culture• Risky industries – bohemia? Particular configurations of class, race, gender, cultural identity• Places where people want to live – ‘quality of life’ debates. Material and symbolic conditions
  20. 20. Cultural turn in policy• Spectacle, image, affect• Understanding symbolic representation of cities - placemaking• From manufacturing goods to a service economy?• Growth of universities, art schools and the modern ‘polyversity’
  21. 21. Urban/cultural planning• Relationship of cultural organisations (organic, grassroots, spontaneous, bottom up..?) with local state/national government and transnational corporations• Informalisation of work – new forms of cultural labour• Systems of regulation – legal, economic, symbolic etc• The ‘enabling state’ or unfettered ‘free’ markets?• Culture and urban regeneration/economic development
  22. 22. Network society• Media, technology, communications• Network cultures – hybridity, working across organizational boundaries, collaboration, partnership• Net entrepreneurs – disruptive technologies• Informational capitalism• Leadbeater and the mythologies around knowledge entrepreneurship – networks of power?
  23. 23. Creative industries studies…• From ‘cultural’ industry to ‘creative’ industry• Rhetorics of creativity?• Complex objects/fields of study• Theoretical work on identity, representation, emancipation, politics• Growth of applied work – policy advice, engagement with government and industry• High stakes research – performativity and ‘impact’
  24. 24. Creativity/ideology/policy
  25. 25. The politics of academia• What gets to be studied and who gets to study it…• Systems of representation and how these representations get made• What counts as research• What spaces are left for critique?• Reproduction of dominant discourses or reinvention/critique?
  26. 26. Network spaces andacademia/industry collaboration…
  27. 27. Further reading…• O’Connor, J (2007) The cultural and creative industries: a review of the literature, London: Creative Partnerships• Banaji, S. Burn, A. and Buckingham, D. (2007) The rhetorics of creativity: a review of the literature, London: Creative Partnerships• Hewison, R. (2010) Creative Britain: Myth or Monument? clip-transcript-ccut.pdf
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