The Cultural Industries



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The Cultural Industries
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Theories of Culture,
Theories of Cultural Production
Media and cultural economics
38
Communication studies
40
Critical political economy approaches
42
Which political economy?
44
Contradiction 45
The specific conditions of cultural industries
45
Tensions between production and consumption
46
Symbol creators
46
Information and entertainment
46
Historical variations in the social relations of cultural production
47
Sociology of culture and organisational and management studies
47
Radical media sociology/media studies
48
The problem of texts
50
Some achievements and limitations of cultural studies
51
Cultural studies approaches to media industries and media production
54
Industry produces culture, culture produces industry
55
‘Production studies’: the cultural studies of media industries approach
55
Digital optimism
56
Creative industries analysis
57
Cultural economy
58
The approach taken here
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Analytical Frameworks
How have researchers approached the cultural industries? Which research traditions provide the most useful tools for addressing the central themes of this book – explaining and assessing patterns of change/continuity in the cultural industries since the late 1970s? The search is for approaches that address the fundamental issues outlined in the second section of the
Introduction (‘Why do the cultural industries matter?’). We need, in other words, perspectives that are sensitive to the potential power of the cultural industries, as makers of texts, as systems for the management and market- ing of creative work, and as agents of change. We also need a combination of approaches that are able to provide analysis of the two parts of the term
‘the cultural industries’: the ‘culture’ part and the ‘industries’ part. I’ll begin with two traditions of analysis that promise, at first sight, to make valuable contributions to such an analysis, but are in fact compromised by their lack of attention to issues of power.

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