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2012 october dob governing culture and value

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2012 october dob governing culture and value

  1. 1. Dr. Dave O’Brien, City University, LondonGoverning the value of culture
  2. 2. General problems of cultural policy Data collection, statistics and evidence are a longstanding issue in the cultural sector Reflects the problems of defining culture (e.g. Gray 2006, Miles and Sullivan 2012) And defining what cultural policy is for In the context of peripheral Whitehall department End of the ‘impact’ era and the question of ‘value’
  3. 3. ‘the sector is hindered by its failure to clearlyarticulate its value in a cohesive and meaningfulway, as well as by its neglect of the compellingneed to establish a system for collecting evidencearound a set of agreed indicators thatsubstantiate value claims’ Scott (2009:198)
  4. 4. ‘Art for Art’s sake’ Luxford(2010:87) ‘art is separate from other spheres of human experience and that this autonomy conveys privilege, with the corollary, not advanced by all writers on the subject, that such privilege extends to those who make art. These ideas have proven sufficiently useful and provocative to give art for art’s sake a prominent place in over two centuries of aesthetic discourse, and to lodge the term, with a wisp of its underlying ideology, in the popular consciousness’ Range of associated ideas since 1804
  5. 5. Culture’s distance from bureaucracy State is formed by as ‘routinisation of charisma’ via techniques of standardisation e.g. writing, time, maps. language Joyce 2008:8 Bureaucracy as concentration of various capitals that create mechanisms for domination (Bourdieu 1994) And the bureau is governed by instrumental rationality Bauman (2004) Culture is a representation of the particular against homogenisation and it is critical towards the status quo and its institutions (Adorno cited in Bauman 2004)
  6. 6. Culture and the market (1) Markets only produce short term popularism Managerialism founded on the market will give empty cultural forms, unlike previous relationship with management that strengthened culture ‘to subordinate cultural creativity to the criteria of the consumer market means to demand of cultural creations that they accept the prerequisite of all would be consumer products: that they legitimise themselves in terms of market value (and their current market value, to be sure) or perish’ (Bauman 2004:68)
  7. 7. Culture and the market (2) ‘Hostile worlds’ of art and commerce (Coslor 2010) interdependence of markets and art world (Velthuis 2005) ‘They said they would never allow their artistic priorities to be compromised by commercial objectives and that they did not let financial matters interfere with the way they conducted relationships with artists and collectors. At the same time, however, when they were casually describing their daily life world, including social interactions, prices surfaced prominently in their discourse’ (2005:2)
  8. 8. Culture, management andbureaucracy Culture inextricably linked to management and the birth of bureaucratic state (Bauman 2004) ‘culture’ metaphorically applied to humans was the vision of the social world as viewed through the eyes of the ‘farmers of the human-growing fields’- the managers. The postulate or presumption of management was not a later addition and external intrusion: it has been from the beginning and throughout its history endemic to the concept’ (Bauman 2004:64) Culture impossible to separate from the state and the attendant bureaucratic technologies which make the state possible (Bourdieu 1994)
  9. 9. The promise of bureaucracy Bureaucracy is seen as ‘neutral, indifferent and unresponsive’ DuGay 2005:50. ‘reason is the only morally justifiable basis for achieving socially justified and co-ordinated action. It is preferable to all other means, such as force, tradition and charisma’ Townley et al 2003:1048
  10. 10.  ‘the very uniqueness of the public administration as a form of governmental institution lies in the extent of bureaucratic constraints permeating it. These constraints are intrinsic to the practice of liberal state administration. They are not by products that can be removed...values of formal equality of treatment for citizens and due process considerations means that the public administration is constrained in its ability to act ‘fast and loose’. It cannot drop the nuisance client (or marginal customer) for the sake of administrative convenience’ (DuGay 2005:54)
  11. 11.  ‘numbers have an unmistakable power in modern culture... [they] achieve a privileged status in political decisions, [yet] they simultaneously promise a depoliticisation of politics... By purporting to act as automatic technical mechanisms for making judgement, prioritising problems and allocating scarce resources’ (Rose 1991:673 cited in Townley et al 2003:1047) Sorka et al (2002) problem of getting accurate numbers even for public expenditure!
  12. 12. Conclusion: What is value? Value as price Value as ethics Value as expression/identity
  13. 13.  @drdaveobrien Dave.obrien.1@city.ac.uk

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