Type: Elective course
The course focuses on the cultural industries, that is on the industries that produce and circulate cultural goods and services. It examines the ways in which shared meanings in the business of culture and in cultural organizations affect the process of production and distribution of tangible and intangible goods and finally the management of creativity, shaping the specific features of each particular creative industry.
Furthermore, it examines the various cultures of consumption related to the variability of audiences, lifestyles and needs. It analyzes the diversity of culture and the multifaceted importance it has for the production and consumption of artefacts, symbolic goods and services, as factors that should be taken into account in designing and implementing the strategy in cultural organizations.
Teaching dossier (including discussions schedule and indicative essay topics)
- Introduction: general review of main trends in the analysis of the cultural production & consumption.
- Theory of the production of culture and theory of the culture of the producers.
- Cultural intermediation and culture of the producers: Strategies of creativity management.
- The research on the production of culture: variables about the values of the producers. Analysis of research in various sectors of the cultural production.
- Understanding publics: from the theory of selective consumption to the theory about the cultural omnivores and relevant field research.
- The research on cultural consumption: variables about lifestyles, cultural capital, social stratification. Analysis of research in various countries and recent developments.
- Planning a research on the culture of the producers and consumers of culture. Significance for strategy planning in cultural organizations.
- Analysis of questionnaires (based on real examples) on the culture of the producers and consumers. The international experience.
- Analysis and discussion on mid-term essay (literature review). Planning of the final essays.
- Experimental in-depth interview with producers of culture.
- Analysis and discussion of the experimental interview.
- Synopsis and discussion on writing the final essays.
- Understanding the complexities of cultural intermediation.
- Highlighting the ideological and value-related aspects of the cultural production and consumption.
- To practice the students in designing research plans for studying the cultures of production and consumption.
Readings / supportive material
Some texts are accessible through the campus net, while others are available either in the School library or in other Departamental libraries of the Aristotle University. Articles appear in the order discussed in the course. Additional readings are suggested, depending on the essays.
- Bourdieu, Pierre (2002): Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. Athens: Patakis Publications.
- Gans, Herbert J . (1975): Popular Culture and High Culture; An Analysis and Evaluation of Taste. New York: Basic Books
- Toffler, Alvin (1992): The Culture Consumers: A Study of Art & Affluence In America. Athens: Kaktos Publications.
- Lizardo, Omar & Sara Skiles (2008): "Cultural Consumption in the Fine and Popular Arts Realms". Sociology Compass, 2(2): 485-502.
- Hirsch, Paul M. (1972): "Processing Fads and Fashions: An Organization-Set Analysis of Cultural Industry Systems". The American Journal of Sociology, 77(4): 639-659.
- Hennion, Antoine (1989): "An Intermediary between Production and Consumption: The Producer of Popular Music". Science, Technology, & Human Values, 14(4): 400-424.
- Peterson, Richard A. & N. Anand (2004): "The Production of Culture Perspective". Annual Review of Sociology, 30: 311-334.
- Negus, Keith (2002): "The Work of Cultural Intermediaries and the Enduring Distance between Production and Consumption". Cultural Studies, 16(4): 501-515.
- Negus, Keith (1998): "Cultural Production and the Corporation: Musical Genres and the Strategic Management of Creativity in the US Recording Industry". Media, Culture & Society, 20(3): 359-379.
- Peterson, Richard A. (1992): "Understanding Audience Segmentation: From Elite and Mass to Omnivore and Univore". Poetics, 21(4): 243-258.
- Warde Alan, David Wright, Modesto Gayo-Cal (2007): "Understanding Cultural Omnivorousness: Or, the Myth of the Cultural Omnivore". Cultural Sociology, 1(2): 143-164.
- Katz-Gerro, Tally (2004): "Cultural Consumption Research: Review of Methodology, Theory, and Consequence". International Review of Sociology, 14(1): 11-29.
- National Centre for Social Research (2014): Cultural Consumption and Social Classes in Athens: Preferences on Music, Theatre, Dance & Cinema Movies. Conference proceedings (Athens, November 4). Athens: NCSR.
- Vidali, Maria (2012): "The Art of Being an Art Lover" [in Greek]. Social Sciences. Annual Trilingual Review of Social Research, 1: 19-63.
- Barnett, Lisa A., Michael Patrick Allen (2000): "Social Class, Cultural Repertoires, and Popular Culture: The Case of Film". Sociological Forum, 15(1): 145-163.
- Panayotopoulos, Nikos & Vidali, Maria (2012): "The World of Performances (A). The Social Space of Theatre Audiences" [in Greek]. Social Sciences. Annual Trilingual Review of Social Research, 1: 65-94.
- Jepperson, Ronald L. & Ann Swidler (1994): "What Properties of Culture should we Measure?". Poetics, 22(4): 359-371.
Course procedures / evaluation
A major part of the course is carried out in the form of seminars including discussions upon the required and the additional readings. Apart from the analysis of the texts and the systematic approach of the theories on the cultures of cultural production and consumption, the discussions aim at operationalizing the concepts that might be used in relevant empirical studies, to enable the elaboration of research plans. The course includes also at least one open discussion with professionals in the field of the cultural production (experimental in-depth interview), as well as the analysis of questionnaires used in relevant research. Performance is evaluated according to:
- Participation in the discussions (20%)
- Mid-term essay (2.500-3.000 words) developing a literature review related with a research plan and submitted during the 7th or 8th week (30%)
- Final essay (5.000-6.000 words) developing a research plan relevant with the course and on specific research questions and hypotheses (50%)
Information about the next exam session and the final essay due date can be found in the announcements page (provided that the exam dates have been announced).