Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Cultural Economy Moment now in Cultural Science

My paper "The Cultural Economy Moment?", first presented as a keynote at Murdoch University in Perth, is now accessible from the online journal Cultural Science. Thanks to John Hartley, Eli Koger and anonymous referees for feedback on this.

The full paper can be accessed here. The abstract is below:

This paper explores the rise of cultural economy as a key organising concept over the 2000s. While it has intellectual precursors in political economy, sociology and postmodernism, it has been work undertaken in the fields of cultural economic geography, creative industries, the culture of service industries and cultural policy where it has come to the forefront, particularly around whether we are now in a ‘creative economy’. While work undertaken in cultural studies has contributed to these developments, the development of neo-liberalism as a meta-concept in critical theory constitutes a substantive barrier to more sustained engagement between cultural studies and economics, as it rests upon a caricature of economic discourse. The paper draws upon Michel Foucault’s lectures on neo-liberalism to indicate that there are significant problems with the neo-Marxist account hat became hegemonic over the 2000s. The paper concludes by identifying areas such as the value of information, the value of networks, motivations for participation in online social networks, and the impact of business cycles on cultural sectors as areas of potentially fruitful inter-disciplinary engagement around the nature of cultural economy.


APO said...

Hi Terry, its pretty hard to read your paper with white text on a black background. Apart from cultural science changing their website, do you have it in another format?


Terry Flew said...

Amanda, if you go to the site, you can download the paper as a PDF. I linked to the HTML to save the hassle, but the same paper can be accessed in PDF format.

daniel said...

This is a great post Dmitry. I just had one of the ‘Doh!’ moments and ran back to correct my own site before publishing my comment. You see my own comment form did not match what I’m about to advise. I get less comments than you, so never noticed any problem. I’ve changed it now anyway so here goes.

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Nicko said...


Thanks for the paper upload I found it quite interesting to find a 'response' of sorts to the Miller types who label CI within the bounds of Neoliberalism.

I wonder though what your thoughts are on the Rossean/Miller type critique led mostly by Thomas Osbourne where he claims that creativity is now an obligation derived from neoliberal agendas?

A question worthy of consideration no doubt.



Terry Flew said...

Nick, I'm shifting the blog over to Wordpress so I didn't notice your point.

I'm aware of Tom Osborne's 2003 paper in Economy & Society, but haven;t formed a view on it. I think the relationship between creativity and innovation is something that is now of ongoing interest, and unlikely to disappear simply by virtue of sociological critique of the "Romantic artist".

That said, it is not framed within the functionalist Marxist paradigm that (perhaps unwittingly) has now come to be a trap for so much of the North American critique of neo-liberalism that draws upon David Harvey's functionalist Marxist account of economic policy since the 1970s.

gfield said...

Terry, yes, Osborne is doing something more interesting, I think, than simply critique of 'creativity'. And tries to open things up, too, with 'invention'...

Mainly writing to say that it's great to read your comprehensive account of cultural economy. Particularly enjoyed the point about the problems with cultural studies' views of economics - having done some work in this area, and with an economist, Dick Bryan.

A brief but useful piece which also presents the Foucault work on neoliberalism is Mitchell Dean's Fin Review feature (20/3/2009), ‘The complexities of neo-liberalism'.


Nicko said...


Sorry I didn't know you had moved this on to another site. Do you have the address for it as I'd like to keep informed of your work.



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