Modern Culture/Visual Culture: Cultural Policy: The Cultural Industries

Course content

This course will discuss different features of the cultural industries and how these concretely relate to cultural-, media-, and communication policy. The course starts with an early account of the cultural industries exemplified with texts by Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, as well as Pierre Bourdieu’s writings on the field of cultural production. These early formations will be discussed in relation to commodification, business ownership and structure, of popular understandings of culture vs. intellectual/elitist understandings, of value and capital, and how the cultural industries affect and manage quality, creativity and knowledge. This first part of the course will end with policy related discussions on transitions from the cultural industries to the creative industries, on the rise of the creative classes, the experience economy and cool capitalism.


Contemporary cultural industries can however not be separated from the information society and the manifold convergence processes digital communications entail. The course’s main focus will therefore be on the impact digitalisation, digital communications and the internet have on the cultural industries. These include changes in telecommunication and broadcasting regulation, on processes of deregulation and re-regulation, on media and cultural convergence, on cultural marketization and how these relate to established PSB models.


How do for instance internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft relate to media and cultural industries conglomerates like Disney, TimeWarner, CBS and News Corporation? How can the structure and dynamics of global media and cultural industries networks best be described, and what would be an adequate method and theoretical framework to conduct an analysis of these structures? And what about notions such as remix cultures, intellectual property, DIY cultures, social media, big data, privacy, surveillance, and digital labour?


Questions that will be posed and discussed from the viewpoint of the changing dynamics of the cultural industries will include: What is user-generated content and how does that relate to copyrights, digital labour, professional cultural workers and artists? How is privacy policy, data use policy, and rights and terms framed by Google, Facebook, Instagram, Diaspora and Ello? In which ways do online participatory cultures affect the cultural industries? How does technology frame user-manoeuvrability and how does this relate to policy, governance, ownership and business models? What are Spotify’s effects on local music markets? Which challenges does a service like Netflix impose on the field of media, cultural and communication policy in local contexts? How do local Danish ‘YouTube stars’ feed into the terms, policy and economic model of YouTube, and what do these processes say about contemporary cultural industries in the digital age?



Moderne Kultur

Students are asked to obtain the following textbook for the course:


Hesmondhalgh, David. 2013. The Cultural Industries. 3rd Edition. Sage: Los Angeles & London.


Students are also asked to obtain a compendium that will be made ready before the course starts.


Additionally, students are required to find relevant texts that relate to their mandatory assignments and to their final project.


The compendium includes, amongst others, the following texts:


Bourdieu, Pierre. 1993. ”The Field of Cultural Production, or: The Economic World Reversed”. The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature. Randhal Johnson (ed.). Polity Press, Cambridge, pp. 29-73.


Adorno, Theodor W. 2001. “Culture Industry Reconsidered”. The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture. Routledge Classics, London and New York, pp. 98-106.

ISBN 0-415-25380-2


Adorno, Theodor W & Horkheimer, Max. 1997. “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception”. Dialectic of Enlightenment. Verso, London & New York, pp. 120-167.


Garnham, Nicholas. 2005. “From Cultural to Creative Industries”. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 11,1, pp. 15-29.


Hesmondhalgh, David & Pratt, Andy C. 2005. “Cultural Industries and Cultural Policy”. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 1, 1, pp. 1-13.


Drucker, SJ. & Gumpert, G. 2010. “Introduction: Regulating Convergence”. Regulating Convergence. SJ. Drucker & G. Gumpert (eds.). Peter Lang: New York, pp. 1-20.


Castells, M. 2009. “Communicating in the Digital Age” Communication Power. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 54-71 & 116-136.

The course will be taught in English. Students can however choose whether they wish to write the final exam in English or Danish.

This course is one of the three courses offered this semester that constitute the latter part of a cultural policy module (the first being the mandatory course Cultural Policy – Theory, Method & Analysis). Students are asked to hand in and pass two mandatory assignments defined by the responsible teacher.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Kan aflægges som eksamen på følgende moduler (aflægges på alle moduler sammen med forløb 1)
På MKK 2008-ordningen: Modul 14
På MKK 2015-ordningen: Modul 5

Se studieordning: http:/​/​​uddannelser/​aktuelle_studieordninger/​moderne_kultur/​moderne_kultur_og_kulturformidling_ka.pdf
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  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Exam
  • 84
  • Preparation
  • 308
  • English
  • 420