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Globalized Arts

Globalized Arts: The Entertainment Economy and Cultural Identity

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Globalized Arts
    Book Description:

    Our interactive world can take a creative product, such as a Hollywood film, Bollywood song, or Latin American telenovela, and transform it into a source of cultural anxiety. What does this artwork say about the artist or the world she works in? How will these artworks evolve in the global market? Film, music, television, and the performing arts enter the same networks of exchange as other industries, and the anxiety they produce informs a fascinating area of study for art, culture, and global politics.

    Focusing on the confrontation between global politics and symbolic creative expression, J. P. Singh shows how, by integrating themselves into international markets, entertainment industries give rise to far-reaching cultural anxieties and politics. With examples from Hollywood, Bollywood, French grand opera, Latin American television, West African music, postcolonial literature, and even the Thai sex trade, Singh cites not only the attempt to address cultural discomfort but also the effort to deny entertainment acts as cultural. He connects creative expression to clashes between national identities, and he details the effect of cultural policies, such as institutional patronage and economic incentives, on the making and incorporation of art into the global market. Ultimately, Singh shows how these issues affect the debates on cultural trade being waged by the World Trade Organization, UNESCO, and the developing world.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51919-9
    Subjects: Political Science, Business, Performing Arts

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. Introduction: The Creative Voice and Cultural Identity
    (pp. xxi-xxviii)

    The anxieties of globalization are ubiquitous, from simmering favelas to favored salons. These anxieties are usually about losses to “local” ways of life as a result of deepening connections with the “outside” world. The following pages attend to the politics of collective identity that seeks to address these global anxieties. They detail how creative expressions from the arts and entertainment industries—now estimated to be over $1.7 trillion in world output—become the vessels of collective cultural identities. As creative expressions circulate globally, they unleash or enhance concerns regarding the dissolution of identity, in turn emboldening political actors to enact...

  8. 1 Cultural Politics and Global Anxieties
    (pp. 1-20)

    The road from the production of creative expressions to their realization as policies enacted to protect cultural identity is paved with politics. The ultimate aim of this book is to warn against the kinds of politics that revolve around some singular elite notion of culture. Art and politics are not innocent allies: the politics of identity they yield need to be questioned. Winslow Homer’s American landscapes speak to a ruggedly innocent national identity venerated in many American discourses; however, we need to investigate the notion of a national cultural identity, especially when creative expressions no longer obey national mantras. This...

  9. 2 Value, Markets, Patronage
    (pp. 21-45)

    How are creative expressions valued, and what means encourage their production? How do evolving technologies affect creative output and cultural valuation? How, for example, should we value a dance performance? Limiting ourselves to its costs and revenues would be narrow, if not outright vulgar or trivial in some contexts, and would miss the aesthetic or symbolic importance of dance. Questions of value and production both link and delink creative expressions from cultural representations and the institutional contexts within which these representations are constructed, sustained, and debated. As I explained in the previous chapter, while creativity is an exercise in imagination,...

  10. 3 Culture Wars
    (pp. 46-71)

    The famous French historian Fernand Braudel optimistically overestimated the effects of intercultural exchange in noting that “no civilization can survive without mobility: all are enriched by trade and the stimulating impact of strangers” (1963/1993, 10). In terms of trade, such exchanges feature both stimulation and conflicts. Especially in the case of trade in creative products, conflict is hard to resolve and often devolves into highly charged culture wars revolving around identity issues in cultural politics.

    Trade in creative products is ubiquitous and continues to grow. While estimates vary, UNESCO reported that creative industries accounted for 7 percent of the gross...

  11. 4 UNESCO and the Europeans
    (pp. 72-92)

    The European position on linking cultural identity with its creative industries has hardened since the end of the Uruguay Round. This stance has run in parallel with other coalition-building and culture-framing moves. Most importantly, Canada and France led an international coalition to switch the cultural identity issue over to UNESCO by drafting a Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001 and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, sometimes known as the Universal Convention on Cultural Diversity in 2005. UNESCO is also more receptive to cultural-identity moves than the WTO, whose mandate is limited to...

  12. 5 Cultural Patrons in the Developing World
    (pp. 93-124)

    How are creative products in the developing world prioritized? How are these products linked to evolving notions of cultural identity in the developing world? In the immediate postcolonial era, creative products were marginalized in policymaking. Cultural ministries, if they existed, were at the bottom of power hierarchies and possessed few resources. This has all changed now: the contribution of creative industries to economic development is now apparent both in their prioritization for policymaking, nationally and internationally, and in the growing scholarship in this area. Concurrently, the debates at the international level are also reflected in the developing world. For example,...

  13. 6 Culture by Any Other Name
    (pp. 125-144)

    To the anxieties of globalization articulated through national cultural policies, tourism offers two counterpoints: first, the general trend toward protection and, second, questioning the boundaries of culture in cultural policies. While some countries restrict imports of creative products in the name of preserving “indigenous” cultures, in the tourism field these same countries want to encourage international flows. In chapter 3, I noted that few countries liberalized their audio-visual sectors. Tourism, on the other hand, remains a sector in which countries have made the most commitments toward liberalization. Specifically, only 29 WTO members have committed to liberalization in “audio-visual services,” the...

  14. 7 The Creative Voice and Cultural Policy
    (pp. 145-158)

    The genesis of creative endeavors and the cultural politics they unleash can be located in the anxieties, fears, and opportunities afforded by an intensely interdependent world. Globalization is nothing new; however, the depth of human interactions continues to increase, especially in the ways that people experience or voice their cultural identities. Such interactions might produce cultural events of global interest. On the other hand, such interactions might lead to protests and the burning of effigies. Both are examples of cultural politics. At the level of cultural identity, the affinity for a griot singer at Carnegie Hall in New York may...

  15. Notes
    (pp. 159-174)
  16. Works Cited
    (pp. 175-192)
  17. Index
    (pp. 193-208)