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The cultural and creative industries: a review of the literature

Public health

This account takes a sixty year trip from 'The Culture Industry', through the 'cultural industries', ending at the 'creative industries'. Its main theme is the tension between culture and economics which lie at the heart of this terminology. This is not simply a question of 'art' and 'the market'; this is part of it, but the market in 'cultural commodities' has a long history and 'artists' have long been at home with it. In the last century the production of cultural commodities has accelerated with the development of technologies of reproduction ? digitalisation following in the treads of Gutenberg; and this production has become increasingly capitalised. Commodity production is not the same as capitalism; the former has an ancient history, the latter began 500 years ago in Europe. Capitalism is animated by the principle of unlimited accumulation at the expense of all other values. 'Art' or 'culture' has always been one of the limits on, or protests against, this principle. But it did so whilst at the same time being a commodity increasingly subject to the laws of capital.

This is part of a series of literature review produced by Creative Partnerships. The reviews are commissioned to introduce readers to the main principles, theories, research and debates in the field. They aim to introduce the major themes and writing pertaining to each area of study and to outline key trends and argument.

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