4th Conference “Cultural and Creative Industries: Trends and develpments in research and policies”, March 29-30, 2019, Thessaloniki Music Hall (M2)

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Alexandros Baltzis, Nikolaos Tsigilis

(Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities
13th Conference of the European Sociological Association
European Sociological Association
Hellenic Sociological Society
Panteion University, Athens
Harokopio University, Athens
Athens, August 29 - September 1, 2017

 

Abstract

The paper presents some results of an original survey in a sample of 591 visual artists in Greece, focusing on their living and working conditions. This sample represents 10% of the total members of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece (margin of error ±3.82%, 95% confidence interval). The questionnaire includes over 250 variables embracing a wide range of issues, including standard indicators of material deprivation, as well as questions comparing the situation before and after the introduction of the austerity programmes. The research was carried out in collaboration with the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art of the State Museum of Contemporary Art and supported by the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece. Technical support was provided by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. This survey is the first of its kind carried out in the country. The survey is part of a wider attempt to study cultural work in Greece and it is based on previous exploratory study with focus groups about the working conditions of visual artists and film makers (see Baltzis & Pantazis, 2016).

To comply with the peculiarities of the visual artists, an overall index of economic strain was calculated enhancing the standard material deprivation inventory of indicators with the enforced inability to afford an atelier (Cronbach’s Alpha = .893). Analysis of variance showed that respondents answer consistently about their income, their living conditions, and the changes in their working conditions. This consistency allowed the use of the variables as reliable indicators of the consequences of the austerity policies for the visual artists. The overall index of economic strain was used to analyze variables comparing the living and working conditions of visual artists before and after the introduction of the austerity policies. The findings show that visual artists in Greece face severe material deprivation to a greater extend (68.8%) compared to the general population (22.2%). Therefore, extended deprivation of the material conditions required to work as a visual artist, was found in Greece.

Based on the standard European Socio-Economic Classification (ESeC 5), modified by researchers at the National Centre for Social Research to comply with the Greek society, the social origin of the visual artists was examined. The findings suggest that the intergenerational mobility, which represents a tendency of democratization in the field of the arts, does not make it easier to cope with extended economic strain and material deprivation. They also show that social inequality is intensified among visual artists, as those who face economic strain and material deprivation to a greater extent, originate from lower socio-economic strata.

Finally, the findings suggest that further research on the working and living conditions is required in other artistic sectors as well, while the issues raised, require consideration by cultural and economic policy decision makers.

 

Alexandros Baltzis, Nikolaos Tsigilis

The Industrialization of Creativity and its Limits: Value, Self-expression and the Economy of Culture in Times of Crisis
International conference
National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow
(St. Petersburg Branch and Faculty of Communication, Media and Design)
St. Petersburg, June 23-24, 2017

 

Abstract

The paper presents some results of an original survey in a sample of 591 visual artists in Greece, focusing on their living and working conditions. This sample represents 10% of the total members of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece (margin of error ±3.82%, 95% confidence interval). The questionnaire includes over 250 variables embracing a wide range of issues, including standard indicators of material deprivation, as well as questions comparing the situation before and after the introduction of the austerity programmes. The research was carried out in collaboration with the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art of the State Museum of Contemporary Art and supported by the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece. Technical support was provided by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. This survey is the first of its kind carried out in the country. The survey is part of a wider attempt to study cultural work in Greece and it is based on previous exploratory study with focus groups about the working conditions of visual artists and film makers (see Baltzis & Pantazis, 2016).

The paper outlines the occupational profile of the visual artists in Greece which does not differ significantly from that described in the case of other countries, studied for example by Ball, Pollard, & Stanley, Benhamou, Heinich, Hesmondhalgh, Menger, and others. It focuses, however, on the contrast before and after 2012, the year when the effects of the austerity policies became evident in Greece. The respondents compared the situation before and after 2012 considering 16 indicators of a wide variety of aspects related with the working conditions of the visual artists. Only 2%-10% of the respondents answered that the conditions have improved, depending on the indicator. The analysis showed significant difference between the two periods and only 7.4% of the respondents expressed high and very high degree of optimism about the future of the visual arts in Greece. The differentiation of the answers to the 16 indicators were analyzed considering the high rates of material deprivation found among participants, the income levels and the variables detecting whether they work in a second occupation.

The findings outline some of the negative effects of the austerity policies not only on how the visual artists experience the current conditions, but also on the future of the cultural work in Greece. And the latter is not perceived to be very bright.

 

Alexandros Baltzis, Nikolaos Tsigilis

Cultural and Creative Industries: New Trends and Developments in Research and Policies
3rd conference on cultural and creative industries
School of Spatial Planning and Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Regional Development Institute of Panteion University
Athens (Greece), March 3-4, 2017

 

Abstract

The paper presents some results of a quantitative survey on about 10% of the visual artists in Greece. The research was carried out in collaboration with the State Museum of Contemporary Art and supported by the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece. It is the first of its kind carried out in the country and it is based on a previous exploratory study with focus groups about the working conditions of visual artists and film makers.

The part of the results presented in this paper focuses on the attitude of visual artists towards several dimensions of flexibility, specific to cultural labor. Several surveys and analyses by researchers, institutes and international organizations like ILO in other countries, show that artists tend to be more flexible on issues related at least with the material conditions of cultural work. Based on these findings, it was hypothesized that the attitude of the visual artists will differ depending on gender, income, moonlighting, and the years they work as artists.

At the same time, it was examined to what extent the visual artists in Greece as an occupational group, have the features described in literature for other countries.

The findings show – among others – that this is a highly educated and skilled occupational group which nevertheless is poorly remunerated compared with other highly skilled groups (64.5% is too close to the poverty threshold). They also show that contrary to the expectations for a star economy, typical for labor in most cultural fields, the Gini coefficient among visual artists is rather moderate (G=37.13), but still higher than the national one (G=31.2 for 2015).

Concerning the research hypotheses, the differentiation found was rather small (effect size d<0.5) and the correlations weak (<0.3). Therefore, the hypotheses about the differences are only partially confirmed and to a low degree. Consequently, the attitude of the visual artists towards flexibility of cultural labor is relatively homogeneous: they clearly prioritize psychic income rather than monetary, however the issue of their social security is the boundary of their flexibility and it was found to be one of their main concerns.

As the research presented includes more than 250 variables, it is expected that further analysis of the data, will shed more light on the details of these issues.

 

Maria Manolika, Alexandros Baltzis

Cultural and Creative Industries: New Trends and Developments in Research and Policies
3rd conference on cultural and creative industries
School of Spatial Planning and Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Regional Development Institute of Panteion University
Athens (Greece), March 3-4, 2017

 

Abstract

The paper presents findings of a survey on 1,408 students at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), aiming to highlight some of the limitations of the cultural marketing and contribute to the discussion about the audience research for purposes of fragmentation. Usually, audience research is based on the assumption that demographic features influence significantly the behavior of cultural consumers, without considering any mediator variables like for example personality traits or motives. In the fields of cultural marketing it is – of course – recognized that audience decisions are influenced by or even depend on psychological factors. However, although considered for audience fragmentation, researchers usually overlook the possibility psychological factors to mediate the influence of demographic variables.

Responding to this void, the research presented in this paper focuses on motives as a mediator for the influence of demographic factors on the frequency of participation in cultural activities. The findings indicate that it may be necessary to review some of the standard assumptions underlying typically the surveys conducted by cultural managers and marketers, and also by cultural policy decision makers.

Based on previous studies by the authors, it was assumed that since motives affect cultural behavior and are affected by demographic features, it is likely that they are mediator variables. To test this hypothesis a path analysis was conducted after it was confirmed that the motives of cultural consumption can be classified into three basic types: cognitive, social, and emotional.

When motives were included in the structural equation model, a statistically significant decrease of the Beta coefficients was found. A statistically significant difference was also found between the regression coefficients with and without the motives. The comparative fit index (CFI) and the RMSEA were in all cases well above and below the acceptable levels respectively, and the comparison showed that the mediation is partial. In addition, it was found that the cognitive motives of cultural consumption are more important than the social ones, while the social motives are more important than emotional.

The contribution of this research is that it suggests a different perspective on audience segmentation and a better understanding of cultural behavior. Taking into account the increasing financial constraints of the cultural organizations, the number of competitive leisure activities, as well as the changes in lifestyle, a better understanding of the needs of the audiences can contribute to reduce some of the difficulties that cultural organizations face.

Perhaps overlooking the mediation of psychological variables does not have a dramatic impact on the reliability and validity of audience fragmentation or on predicting cultural behavior. This remains to be seen in future research. Similar surveys, however, need to be carried out on the general population and with more demographic variables, to determine the extent to which the hypothesis of psychological factors as mediator variables is confirmed.

 

Alexandros Baltzis, Pavlos Pantazis

In the collective volume: Texts on the Creative Economy. Markets, Labor, Policies (pp. 143-168)
Editors: V. Avdikos, T. Kalogeresis
Thessaloniki (Greece): Epikentro, 2016
ISBN: 978-960-458-602-8

 

Abstract

In this chapter the findings of an exploratory study are presented concerning the artistic labor markets during the current economic recession. Aims of this research are to fill some of the gap in the study of the artistic labor in Greece and - added to the few published surveys - to contribute for the development of further research on the features and conditions of the artistic labor in the country considering also the impact of the policy to respond to the economic recession. The method employed was focus-group interviews with visual artists, filmmakers and directors.

The findings show that the main features of the artistic labor in Greece, do not differ significantly from those detected by similar studies in other countries. This study, however, revealed that the conditions during the current economic recession lead to increased external competition. As a result, the distinction between professional occupation with the arts on the one hand and leisure time artistic activities on the other, is blurred and the artistic labor is further devaluated. At the same time, the decreasing rewards and the decreasing number of opportunities lead to an increase of multiple jobholding (not necessarily in artistic professions) and of the desire of young artists to immigrate.

Based on the findings, it can also be concluded that the entry barriers to the artistic labor markets are increased for those who rely on their cultural capital alone, while they seem to be decreasing for those who have the necessary social and economic capital. Before the recession, the higher standard of living could partially offset some of the negative consequences resulting from the peculiarities of the artistic labor. During the recession, however, it is becoming increasingly urgent to make a cultural policy that might counterbalance the changes affecting the artistic labor in directions that do not seem to support the development of the arts and culture in Greece.