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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.

 

Maria Manolika, Alexandros Baltzis

15th International Conference on Motivation
International conference
School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
EARLI SIG 8: Motivation and Emotion
Conference center of the AUTh
Thessaloniki (Greece), August 24-27, 2016

 

Abstract

In the past couple of decades, cultural organizations (e.g. museums, theaters, art galleries, etc.) have become one of the fastest growing sectors of the leisure industry and received an increasing attention by academic researchers. Although motives are the driving force behind all human behaviors, in the cultural consumption domain the crucial role of motivation in people’s behavior has not been examined thoroughly. As a result, there is a lack of standardized questionnaires.

To address this void, a questionnaire was designed and tested to identify the main motives for cultural consumption. The questionnaire was developed in four phases: i) a comprehensive review of the literature, ii) face and content validity, iii) construct validity by factor analysis, and iv) a reliability test by internal consistency. A variety of validity and reliability analyses suggests that content and construct validity are acceptable and that reliability in internal consistency is good (Cronbach’s alpha: 0.77 to 0.94).

An exploratory factor analysis identified three higher order motivational factors:

  1. Emotional (escape and entertainment/ arousal)
  2. Cognitive (cultural exploration and learning/curiosity)
  3. Social (family togetherness, internal socialization and external socialization)

This study introduces a newly developed questionnaire with sound psychometric properties that can assess the main motives for cultural consumption.

 

The Inclusive Museum: Broadening the Role of Museums and Cultural Institutions in Society
Internatioanl conference

U.S. Embassy
British Council
Thessaloniki Concert Hall
State Museum of Contemporary Art
Thessaloniki (Greece), November 27, 2015

 

Abstract

The paper analyzes the multidimensional relations and interactions between museums on the one hand, and local communities and the broader society on the other. Some of the intrinsic and external factors are discussed that can support or undermine any attempt of these organizations to enhance social inclusion, not only of certain audiences, but of the creators as well. Museums, even if they seek to become, they cannot be "closed" organizations, because:

  • They manage resources, they have turnover, they generate income and expense, and contribute to the GDP.
  • They produce and manage knowledge, since they employ scientific staff.
  • They apply and create innovation, not only in technological terms, but also in terms of innovative management models, as research centres, and in terms of the activities and innovative initiatives to develop their audience.
  • As employers and places of work, they manage difference in terms of gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, social class etc.
  • As mediators, they manage the access of the public to cultural resources and the access of the creators to the public.
  • Managing the collective memory, they are authorities of interpretation.
  • They are subject to political regulation upon which their margin of initiatives and activities depend.

Museums make decisions and choices on all these aspects of their operation, regardless of the strategy they adopt or the model of management they employ. These decisions and choices concern in both a direct and indirect way several dimensions of social exclusion and there is always space for contribution to social inclusion.

However, there are several internal and external factors that define museums as institutions of exclusion par excellence, although this does not mean that they do not have any possibility whatsoever to moderate this feature that distinguishes them as institutions of cultural identity. In any case, whatever vision inspires the attempts of any museum to contibute for social inclusion, it hardly can ignore the reality of its intrinsic limits, as well as those imposed by the dogma "development through austerity".

 

Creative and Cultural Economy: Spatial Development Policies
Conference
School of Spatial Planning and Development of the Aristotle University
Regional Development Institute of Panteion University
Conference center of the AUTh
Thessaloniki (Greece), December 11-12, 2015

 

Abstract

The paper aims at bringing to the foreground the debate on labor in the cultural and creative economy. Since the mid-nineties, the cultural shift in the theory on development and the political rhetoric about the knowledge and/or information society, cultivated the promise of a new world, where creative labor would be highly favored and supported. However, several analyses of the creative labor and its markets, show that social inequalities in the cultural and creative industries, persist as a systemic feature.

Considering the current economic recession, the paper focuses on the one hand, on the cultural and creative labor policy. On the other, it focuses on how cultural workers – and particularly young people – manage the contradictions they face, in an environment where the structural characteristics of artistic work have become widespread, leading to an ever-increasing vulnerability of work in general.

The national and European policy, at present does not seem to care about a serious discussion on uncertainty, precariousness and the features of creative labor that make artists or creative workers in general particularly vulnerable both socially and economically. Furthermore, although the specific nature of creative labor is known by dozens of analyses and a lot of research, the policy on culture does not take it into account, despite the reports and the opinions expressed by advisory bodies, such as the European Economic and Social Committee or the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament. A second important thing ignored in the political plans for the place of culture in the new economy, is the set of general trends observed and their implications.

The failure to recognize the evident social disparities in creative labor, highlights the limitations of a policy for the creative economy, which focuses in a myopic way on developing exclusively the skills that will make artists and potential creative workers readily "employable". This weakness, however, entails a lack of initiatives to address the challenges in the creative industries. The peculiarities and specific features that distinguish the cultural and creative labor, are perhaps some of the most important challenges for the policy in these fields.

However, as the challenges are not addressed by political means, creativity is undermined after all because the internalization of asymmetries and social inequalities by creative workers, compromises their ability to reflect critically on reality and on their own position and roles therein. Finally, creative labor becomes a mechanism for social integration. At present, the dominant policy at European and national level, seems unwilling to face these challenges. Therefore, it is necessary the discussion on the cultural and creative labor to develop.

 

Alexandros Baltzis, Pavlos Pantazis

Conference The Creative Economy and the Developments in Greece
Regional Development Institute of Panteion University
Department of Economic & Regional Development (Panteion University)
School of Spatial Planning & Development (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Athens (Greece), December 12, 2014

 

Abstract

In this paper the findings of an exploratory study are presented. The study was initially planned as part of a proposal for an EU project, with the universities of Poznan, Westminster, Valencia, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Macedonia (Thessaloniki) as partners, but it was finally developed as an independent research, part of which is still in progress. This study concerns the artistic labor markets during the current economic recession and places particular emphasis on young artists. The paper, after complementary editing and review, was published as a chapter in a collective volume (see more details here).