Title

From Cultural Industries to Creative Industries and Back? Towards Clarifying Theory and Rethinking Policy

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

10-2014

Abstract

In this paper, I draw attention to the complexities and confusions in the shift in discourse and praxis from "culture industry" to "cultural industries" and then "creative industries." I examine how this "creative turn" is fraught with challenges, highlighting seven issues in particular: (i) the difficulties in defining and scoping the creative industries; (ii) the challenges in measuring the economic benefits creative industries bring; (iii) the risk that creative industries neglect genuine creativity/culture; (iv) the utopianization of "creative labour"; (v) the risk of valorizing and promoting external expertise over local small- and medium-scale enterprises in the building of "creative industries"; (vi) the danger of overblown expectations for creative industries to serve innovation and the economy, as well as culture and social equity; and (vii) the fallacy that "creative cities" can be designed. I suggest that the move towards creative industries discourse represents a theoretical backslide, and raise the possibility that a return to "cultural industries" would be more beneficial for clarifying our theoretical understanding of the cultural sectors and the creative work that they do, as well as enabling better policymaking.

Keywords

creative turn, creative cities, creative class, cultural/creative policy, Cultural/creative industries

Discipline

Sociology of Culture | Urban Studies

Research Areas

Humanities

Publication

Inter-Asia Cultural Studies

Volume

15

Issue

4

First Page

593

Last Page

607

ISSN

1464-9373

Identifier

10.1080/14649373.2014.977555

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649373.2014.977555