The Value of Art and Culture in Everyday Life: Towards an Expressive Cultural Democracy

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Ever since the earliest forms of mass media, the dichotomy of mass culture/popular arts and high culture/fine art has been a topic of debate. The discussion has focused on the value and use of different art forms and on different notions on and attitudes to the purpose of art. The concept of cultural democracy has developed as a way to acknowledge and support a variety of cultural activities. Despite attempts to develop a broader understanding of culture and to acknowledge different ways of participating in and experiencing and valuing art and culture, cultural policy still seems to reproduce the dichotomies between high and popular culture, and to value the first over the latter. Art and culture are rarely understood as an independent way to experiences, meaning creation and values in everyday life. In this article, we would argue for an expanded understanding of cultural democracy, which not only acknowledge different taste cultures, but also include the central perspective of giving voices and expression across interests and taste. Our goal is contribute to a new understanding of arts experience, which can serve as the point of departure for a turn of perspective of arts advocacy and cultural policy. The perspective of what we might call an expressive cultural democracy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)231-242
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2016

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Arts management, arts participation, cultural policy, expressive cultural democracy, notions of art and culture

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