اقتصاد فرهنگی، بحران بدهی های مستقل و اهمیت بافتهای محلی: مورد آتن
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23981||2013||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7357 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Cities, Volume 33, August 2013, Pages 61–68
This paper presents an overview of the cultural economy of Athens during the last three decades and a preliminary assessment of how it is being affected by the current sovereign debt crisis. Drawing upon the concept of embeddedness and using a combination of statistical and ethnographic data we examine the cultural economy in relation with social stratification and urban policy dynamics. We argue that the cultural economy of Athens acquired a consumption- and import-oriented character. Manufacturing activities shrunk as a result of competitive pressures from both post-Fordist advanced economies and emerging ones. Consumption-oriented activities developed through the meeting of new middle classes’ cultural demand with micro-entrepreneurship and large-scale investments of economic elites in a context of deregulation in urban cultural policy and public investments in urban mega-projects. The restructuring of the cultural economy was a part of a broader political–economic arrangement, established following the affiliation of Greece to the EC/EU, where public spending (based on public borrowing and EU Structural Funds) sustained both middle classes’ income and corporate profits. The 2010–2011 sovereign debt crisis threatens the whole political–economic arrangement of the last few decades whose symbolic aspect was the restructuring and growth of the cultural economy.
The rise of cultural economy in the cities of the advanced world has been approached critically already in its early stages. In late 1970s Zukin showed how the cultural economy’s dynamics fueled gentrification in Manhattan’s SoHo (Zukin, 1989) and later criticized the transcription of social power relations in asepticized spaces of middle class consumption and elites’ cultural institutions (Zukin, 1991 and Zukin, 1995); Harvey in his famous 1989 article situated contemporary urban cultural strategies in a turn from the post-war era’s ‘managerial’ urban governance to an ‘entrepreneurial’ one which emphasizes urban competitiveness (Harvey, 1989). The more recent ‘creative city’ discussion raised criticisms on policy models proposed by authors like Florida (2002) and Landry (2008) regarding the potential contribution of ‘creative industries’ to urban growth. Scholars focused upon social inequality, arguing that creative city strategies favor elite workers (Peck, 2005) and establish an individualized perception of cultural production (Pratt, 2008a). Critics also assail the voluntarism that underlies these policy recipes, stressing that the attraction of ‘creatives’ does not suffice to render a city ‘creative’; that requires long-term developments entailing a complex interweaving of traditions, relations of production, work and social life in urban context (Pratt, 2008b and Scott, 2006). Critical scholars argue further that creative city strategies use culture in an instrumental manner for the attraction of the creative class and put excessive emphasis on cultural consumption rather than production (Peck, 2005, Pratt, 2008a and Pratt, 2008b). The overall effectiveness of creative city strategies is questioned as it is found that specific projects of urban creative clusters rely excessively on public subsidies and volatile private capital (Evans, 2009 and Scott, 2008) and the expected employment growth is not achieved (Evans, 2009). Last, a growing body of case studies on urban cultural economy and creative industries rendered clear has shown that all cities do not coincide with the archetypal models as depicted in popular recipes for making a city ‘creative’. From a methodological point of view, there is a need to more systematically take into account local and national contexts within which cultural economy and policies are embedded (Bassett, 1993, Evans, 2009, Kong and O’Connor, 2009, Mommaas, 2004 and Pratt, 2011). The current financial and sovereign debt crisis brings into question the relation of cultural/creative economy with the city in a more dramatic way. What is at issue is the relation of the cultural economy with the financial sector, the leading activity of what we used to call the ‘new economy’, and state finances. An analysis of this relation focuses upon the systemic position of the cultural economy. In this paper we discuss the case of Athens, the capital city of the country which came at the epicenter of the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone since 2010. Methodologically we draw upon the problematic of the socio-political embeddedness of the urban capitalist economy ( Brenner and Theodore, 2002 and Polanyi, 1944) and the sociological approach of the cultural economy as a system of actors ( Bourdieu, 1979, Bourdieu, 1992 and Zukin, 1995). By the term ‘cultural economy’ we mean, following Bourdieu (1992), the set of economic sectors which produce ‘symbolic goods’, that is, those products ‘with two aspects, merchandise and signification’ ( Bourdieu, 1992, p. 234) which serve the construction of different lifestyles, cultural identities and the accumulation of the capital of social recognition by individuals. 1 Overall, we argue that the rise of the cultural economy in Athens has been a part of wider processes in the advanced world (tertiarization, growth of middle classes and enhancement of cultural capital, aesthetization of consumption, neoliberalization associated in Europe with European Union policies) mediated by the position of the city in the international division of labor and domestic traditions and structures like political clientelism, dispositions of micro-entrepreneurship and economic elites’ inclination to patronage of the arts. In what follows we first correlate the formation of cultural demand with the transformation of the social structure of the city; in the second part we overview the field of cultural producers emphasizing the micro-entrepreneurship in night economy, the gallery and theater scenes and the economic elites’ symbolic strategies; the third part examines how city competitive strategies affected the cultural economy; we last present some concluding remarks on contrasting perspectives of the Athenian cultural economy.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The contemporary cultural economy of Athens emerged through the restructuring of the city economy, as the latter was shaped by Athens’ position in the international division of labor and by local political, economic and social dynamics. Placed at the periphery of the advanced world, the Athenian cultural economy is consumption- and import-oriented as a result of the combination of relative economic prosperity and competitive pressures from both rich and emerging economies. The particular position of Athens in the European cultural imaginary as locus par excellence of the ancient Greek civilization still defines the specific symbolic resources of the city and favors a heritage-centered tourism policy. At the domestic level, cultural demand has been shaped by social mobility and urbanization experiences; supply has been largely constructed through micro-entrepreneurship and symbolic strategies of economic elites; neoliberal urban cultural policies integrated micro-entrepreneurship in urban rehabilitation projects, favored economic elites’ strategies and implemented flagship projects in heritage. From a macro-economic point of view, public borrowing had a central role in the dynamics of the cultural economy as it sustained financially both middle class demand and public investments in urban infrastructure. Within the crisis conjuncture, the deep economic recession and the austerity measures implemented by the IMF-EU-ECB stabilization program menace not only middle class cultural consumption, but also the reproduction of economic elites (the banking sector being among the basic lenders to the Greek state and the construction sector being significantly affected by the shrinkage of public investments). Urban cultural policies linked to the strategy of internationalizing Athens become, in practice, obsolete. The post-crisis Athenian cultural economy will be altered: it probably will become smaller and less consumption-oriented. However, we also can presume that it will continue to be a basic part of the city’s economy if only by virtue of Greece’s difficulty to restructure its economy through public investments and industrial policy – both are restricted by the recession and participation in the open European economy. The question then, is whether the crisis will ‘release’ the Athenian cultural economy from structural deficiencies (e.g., its consumption-orientation), or whether, as Bourdieu notes (2000), the policies of ‘structural adjustment’ will lead to a further intensive and extensive exploitation of city resources (public property, the natural environment, urban symbolic capital) by national and international investors, a view which is currently presented by elites as the only possible developmental path.