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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Cultural Sphere and Public Interest: Combining Free and Participatory Culture, Cultural Democracy and Critiques of Value Regimes to Rethink Policy, Artistic and Institutional Practices v1.0
by Langmar, Peter Balint, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2011, 131; 10305730
Abstract (Summary)

The thesis aims at a holistic and multidisciplinary redefinition of public interest in the cultural sphere, contextualised in the democratic and cosmopolitan era. The thesis reveals various problems and weaknesses of the cultural sphere by combining a wide variety of concepts and discourses such as critiques of: high and mass culture, aesthetics, monopolistic competition, hegemonic value and copyrights regimes. In other words the thesis merges the critiques of the oligopolistic actors, of the hegemonic copyright and value regimes of the cultural sphere. The argument is supported by case studies of two major French museums and of Joseph Beuys' practice. After review several critiques of the cultural sphere the research argues for tackling these issues in the spirit of cultural democracy, free culture and participatory culture. As our findings show these three notions can provide approaches to creating an 'ideal' cultural sphere.

After redefining public interest, we will suggest how all stakeholders may reach these 'ideal' conditions. The suggestions are addressed to public bodies—including cultural and educational institutions, policy makers, public funding bodies—and cultural professionals.

The thesis concludes, there is a clear need to open up a debate about cultural value in order to eliminate hegemonic value regimes. Recent copyright regimes, systems of public subsidy and cultural institutions do not serve the public interest. In order to possibly obtain a balanced, competitive and democratic cultural sphere, which promotes freedom of expression and cultural identity, active cultural participation is also indispensable. Finally the research explores the promise and possible ways of development of the online cultural sphere.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thomas, Julie
Commitee: Isar, Yudhishthir Raj
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: Global Communications
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural Resources Management, Museum studies
Keywords: Beuys, Joseph, Cultural democracy, France, Free culture, Museums, Participatory culture, Public interest, Value regimes
Publication Number: 10305730
ISBN: 978-1-369-49294-1
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