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Title: ‘Clothed in an inclusive ethic' : discourses of democracy and the role of audience development in English cultural policy
Author: Hadley, Steven Damian John
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 4089
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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This study reclaims Audience Development for the field of cultural policy studies. In doing so it argues for a new consideration of the role and nature of Audience Development, both in relation to the field of cultural policy and to the democratic mandate implicit in public subsidy of the arts. The study argues that a meaningful understanding of Audience Development, and its relationship to discourses of democracy in cultural policy, has been obscured by a focus on defining the practice as a tool of arts marketing management. Previous methodological approaches have resulted in a process-based conceptualisation of Audience Development which simultaneously denies the ideological agency of practitioners whilst occluding significant features of the practice itself. The study identifies how a cohort of intermediaries and brokers - defined in the study as a cultural management elite - were able to pursue an Audience Development agenda, operating within the interstices of the subsidised arts sector. Two traditions of Audience Development - the Arts Lover Tradition and the Social Justice Tradition - and three dilemmas (marketisation, social inclusion and failure) are identified which give a new understanding of how the conceptually ambiguous term of Audience Development became a normative practice in the subsidised cultural sector. The study argues that the polysemous nature of Audience Development was in fact key to its becoming a sectoral mantra, and categorises Audience Development as an exemplification of what is termed ‘functional ambiguity’ in policymaking. In aligning the traditions of Audience Development with the dominant democratic discourses of cultural policy - the democratisation of culture and cultural democracy - the study provides an understanding of the ideological base of Audience Development and questions the implications for this in the context of the perceived failure to effect change in the demographics of consumption, the issue which Audience Development was designed to address.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available