Research / Projects

The Culture Struggle. Entrepreneurship, Translation and Power

The view that cultural policy should reinforce values such as personal and intellectual development, gender equality and democracy has prevailed for many years. Culture has been described as “democracy’s soul”, and cultural diversity as the characteristic that defines “human values”. Although, from a historical viewpoint, economic considerations have been a critical factor for most active participants in the cultural arena, such aspects have, for the most part, been regarded as of minor importance. This is no longer the case today. Ideas about the measurement of results and financial reporting are permeating organisations in the cultural field. Furthermore, discussions in the political context in recent years have largely focused on culture as a way of promoting growth and progress, and also on ways in which “the creative industries” can be promoted. There have apparently been dramatic changes in what is considered to be the role of culture and the purpose of cultural policy. What is the explanation?

The ambition of this research project is to understand the meaning of these changes: what has happened in the cultural field, why has it occurred and what impact will these changes have on the organisations concerned? We will be empirically studying three different aspects of the cultural field: a) the way in which ideas about economic growth and management have been introduced into and have shaped Swedish cultural policy, b) how these ideas create new networks, arenas, organisations and professions, and c) what happens when these new ideas come up against the established practices of cultural organisations. In theoretical terms, the project aims, firstly, to explain the way in which the new ideas are reshaped in practice (the translation aspect), secondly the scope that this establishes for individuals and organisations to transform these ideas (the entrepreneurship aspect), and thirdly the way in which conflicts between established and challenging ideas are handled (the power aspect).



Project Manager

Bengt Jacobsson
School of Social Sciences

People linked to the project

Ann-Sofie Köping
Senior Lecturer, PhD
School of Social Sciences

Jenny Svensson
Associate Senior Lecturer, PhD
School of Social Sciences

More information

Project start: 2012
Project end: 2015

Financier: Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Research linked to the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe: No

Information på svenska

Subjects to which the project is linked

School/centre to which the project is linked

Research area for doctoral studies to which the project is linked