Failures in Cultural Participation
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Jancovich, L. and Stevenson, D. (2023) Failures in cultural participation. Cham: Springer International Publishing (Palgrave Studies in Cultural Participation). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-16116-2.
This open access book examines how and why the UK's approach towards increasing cultural participation has largely failed to address inequality and inequity in the subsidised cultural sector despite long-standing international policy discourse on this issue. It further examines why meaningful change in cultural policy has not been more forthcoming in the face of this apparent failure. This work examines how a culture of mistrust, blame, and fear between policymakers, practitioners, and participants has resulted in a policy environment that engenders overstated aims, accepts mediocre quality evaluations, encourages narratives of success, and lacks meaningful critical reflection. It shows through extensive field work with cultural professionals and participants how the absence of criticality, transparency, and honesty limits the potential for policy learning, which the authors argue is a precondition to any radical policy change and is necessary for developing a greater understanding of the social construction of policy problems. The book presents a new framework that encourages more open and honest conversations about failure in the cultural sector to support learning strategies that can help avoid these failures in the future.