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Cultural Economy & Globalization

Cultural economics is the branch of economics that studies the relation of culture to economic outcomes. Here, 'culture' is defined by shared beliefs and preferences of respective groups. Programmatic issues include whether and how much culture matters as to economic outcomes and what its relation is to institutions. Applications include the study of religion, social norms. Social identity, fertility, ideology, hatred, trust and the culture of economics. A general analytical theme is how ideas and behaviors are spread among individuals through the formation of social capital, social networks and processes such as social learning, as in the theory of social evolution and information cascades. Methods include case studies and theoretical and empirical modeling of cultural transmission within and across social groups. Globalization refers to the increasing unification of the world's economic order through reduction of such barriers to international trade as tariffs, export fees, and import quotas. The goal is to increase material wealth, goods, and services through an international division of labor by efficiencies catalyzed by international relations, specialization and competition. It describes the process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through communication, transportation, and trade. The term is most closely associated with the term economic globalization: the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, the spread of technology, and military presence. However, globalization is usually recognized as being driven by a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural, political, and biological factors. The term can also refer to the transnational circulation of ideas, languages, or popular culture through acculturation. An aspect of the world which has gone through the process can be said to be globalized. Against this view, an alternative approach stresses how globalization has actually decreased inter-cultural contacts while increasing the possibility of international and intranational conflict. The Cultural Economy of Cities is 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 placespecific 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. In the age of globalization we are no longer home alone. Migration brings other worlds into our own just as the global reach of the media transmits our world into the hearts and minds of others.

Often incommensurate values are crammed together in the same public square. Increasingly we all today live in the kind of 'edge cultures' we used to see only on the frontiers of civilizations in places like Hong Kong or Istanbul. The resulting frictions and fusions are shaping the soul of the coming world order. I can think of no other project with the ambitious scope of defining this emergent reality than "The Cultures of Globalization Project. The world's cultures and their forms of creation, presentation and preservation are deeply affected by globalization in ways that are inadequately documented and understood. The Cultures and Globalization series is designed to fill this void in our knowledge. In this series, leading experts and emerging scholars track cultural trends connected to globalization throughout the world, resulting in a powerful analytic tool-kit that encompasses the transnational flows and scapes of contemporary cultures. Each volume presents data on cultural phenomena through colourful, innovative information graphics to give a quantitative portrait of the cultural dimensions and contours of globalization. The Cultural Economy analyses the dynamic relationship in which culture is part of the process of economic change that in turn changes the conditions of culture. It brings together perspectives from different disciplines to examine such critical issues as:

The production of cultural goods and services and the patterns of economic globalization. The relationship between the commodification of the cultural economy and the aesthetic realm. Current and emerging organizational forms for the investment, production, distribution and consumption of cultural goods and services. The complex relations between creators, producers, distributors and consumers of culture. The policy implications of a globalizing cultural economy.

By demonstrating empirically how the cultural industries interact with globalization, this volume will provide students of contemporary culture with a unique, indispensable reference tool.

References: 1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-2427.00075/abstract 2. Nathan Gardels, Editor-in-Chief, NPQ, Global Services, Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media