The Cultural Economy of American Cities
Scholars and policy makers have been increasingly talking about cultural economy. However, there is no agreement on the definition of cultural economy. The purpose of this paper is to provide a definition of cultural economy by pulling together literature from geography, urban planning, and cultural policy. These three streams of literature focus on three different entities: cultural industries, districts and institutions. This paper claims that it is important to look at them in a synthetic way as a cultural economy rather than three separate entities. A synthetic view offers (1) an historical perspective that explains the evolution of different ways of cultural production, (2) the identification of a theoretical gap in the literature talking about cultural economy, (3) the description of the economic process, (4) the attention to signifying practices implied in cultural products, (5) the explanation of the several policy arenas involved, and (6) the definition of the cultural economy as a mapping tool.
Keywords: Cultural Economy, Cultural Industries, Cultural Districts, Cultural Institutions
PHD student, Art Education, The Ohio State University
My interests revolve around cultural studies, geography, art, and management.