Cultural Industries and Policy

The Cultural Industries and Policy research theme is led by Professor Justin O’Connor, Professor in Communications and Media Studies, Monash University.

CME is working with a range of partners to help reframe contemporary understandings of cultural policy. It is animated by two principles. First, that unless arts and cultural policy engages with the ‘political economy’ of the cultural industries then it will have declining purchase on government  policy  with a detrimental effect on contemporary culture. Second, that current marginalisation of cultural policy in many countries – including Australia – is part of a wider ‘crisis of value’ in which non-economic benefits struggle to be registered, and economic ‘benefits’  are  becoming increasingly dysfunctional and destructive.

Underpinning this research theme is the 'cultural economy,' which refers to the intersection of cultural and economic value across the full range of practices and institutions involved in cultural production and consumption. It suggests first, that culture articulates – in its production and consumption  –  values that cannot be reduced to economic value – even though it produces economic value. Second, the logics and ethics of cultural production (the kind of economy that produces culture) strongly influences the kind of culture that results from it. Third, the way we frame and understand  cultural  value, rather than having to constantly translate itself into economic value, can help imagining how the economy itself might be re-framed, and thus provide a major contribution to re-thinking the challenges facing a global society of the 21st century.