Social capital has been hailed as a means of virtuous, effective and enjoyable productivity through which firms can flourish. But it also confines advantage to network members and discriminates against non-members. This paper, drawing on detailed qualitative research into work in the UK film and TV industry, reveals the advantages and the disadvantages of social capital.
This article develops a critique of the recently popularized concepts of the ‘creative class’ and ‘creative cities’. The geographic reach and policy salience of these discourses is explained not in terms of their intrinsic merits, which can be challenged on a number of grounds, but as a function of the profoundly neoliberalized urban landscapes across which they have been traveling. For all their performative display of liberal cultural innovation, creativity strategies barely disrupt extant urban-policy orthodoxies, based on interlocal competition, place marketing, property- and market-led development, gentrification and normalized socio-spatial inequality. More than this, these increasingly prevalent strategies extend and recodify entrenched tendencies in neoliberal urban politics, seductively repackaging them in the soft-focus terms of cultural policy. This has the effect of elevating creativity to the status of a new urban imperative — defining new sites, validating new strategies, placing new subjects and establishing new stakes in the realm of competitive interurban relations.
This article examines the contemporary configuration of power relations in the U.K. television sector, probing, in the process, the enduring accuracy of longstanding economic arguments concerning distributor dominance in the “cultural industries” more broadly. Such arguments are important because we cannot understand the power of the media unless we understand the circulation of power within the media. The article shows that while recent developments in respect to both producer—distributor and producer—advertiser relationships have begun to enhance the leverage enjoyed by the production community, the steady inflation of the mass-market premium enjoyed by the leading distributors (the terrestrial broadcasters) in the advertising market has largely sustained their power, in relation to smaller (multichannel) distributors, to producer suppliers, and—of course— to the consuming public.
The changing place of cultural production: the location of social networks in a digital media industry
This article examines the role of place and place-making within cultural industries in the digital era. The data forthis article are drawn from a data set of attendance at more than nine hundred social networking events over a six-year period in New York City’s Internet, or “new media,” industry. These data confirm that place became more, not less, important to cultural production over this period. Networking, or the processes of the formation of social network ties, is concentrated in activities within narrow geographic clusters. This study suggests that the networking events within the industry—cocktail parties, seminars, ceremonies, and the like—mediate access to crucial resources within the industry.
The Competitive Foundations of Localized Learning and Innovation: The Case of Women's garment Production in New York City
This article considers the relevance of the "local" for firm learning in New York City's Garment District. By documenting the design innovation process in the district's women's wear industry and the ways in which designers draw on the district's specialized services and institutions to assist in the process, the article examines how a localized agglomeration or "cluster" facilitates the development of shared conventions and practices. It also shows how the district confers benefits on firms in indirect ways. Since apparel manufacturers operate in a U.S. regulatory framework that inhibits cooperation, the Garment District's support institutions serve as production intermediaries, providing firms with a means to monitor and observe rival firms' performances and solutions. As such, the case of the Garment District poses interesting challenges to the prevailing conceptions of the "local" as a site for cooperation and suggests the need to rethink the relevance of competition for learning and innovation.
To determine whether sharing music over peer-to-peer networks such as Napster should be considered copyright infringement, we must first conclude that digital works are entitled to copyright protection. This Article argues against copyright protection for digital works because the economics of digital technology undercuts prior assumptions about the efficacy of a private property regime for information, a public good. Questioning the conventional wisdom that the two interests served by copyright, creation and public dissemination, are aligned, the Article reveals that the argument for copyright is primarily an argument for protecting content distributors in a world in which middlemen are obsolete. Copyright is no longer needed to encourage distribution because consumers themselves build and fund the distribution channels for digital content. With respect to the creation of music, this Article argues that exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute copies provide little if any incentive for creation, and that digital technology makes it possible to compensate artists without control.
An increasingly important fraction of contemporary economic activity is devoted to the production of cultural outputs, i.e. goods and services with high levels of aesthetic or semiotic content. This kind of economic activity is especially, and increasingly, associated with a number of large cities scattered over the globe. A conceptual account of this phenomenon is provided on the basis of an exploration of the character of place-specific forms of culture generation and the agglomerative tendencies of many kinds of cultural products industries. The empirical cases of Los Angeles and Paris are briefly discussed. The dynamics of production, distribution and location of major cultural products industries are also examined. The paper ends with a brief allusion to the modalities of spatial differentiation of culture in contemporary capitalism and to a prospective cultural politics.
The cultural industries sector employed 4.5% of all employees in Britain in 1991; that is, it was equal in size to the construction industry, or to the combined employment in the agricultural, and the extractive industries. However, this sector has remained relatively underanalysed both in the geographical and in the planning literature. The author begins by defining the cultural industries production system (CIPS). In the second part he operationalises this definition with respect to secondary sources on employment in the CIPS in Britain. In the third part he considers the change in the employment structure of the CIPS between 1984 and 1991, and goes on to address the regional patterns of employment in the CIPS with particular emphasis upon London and the South East.
This article draws on the theory of disruption to analyze the impact of digital technology on the recorded music industry and to explain the delay of dominant firms in reacting to this technological discontinuity.
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