The book is an interdisciplinary exploration of the complexities of Ã¢Â€Â˜popularÃ¢Â€Â™ culture as a category of public policy. It approaches the notions of Ã¢Â€Â˜cultural policyÃ¢Â€Â™ and Ã¢Â€Â˜popular cultureÃ¢Â€Â™ flexibly, examining what each comes to mean, explicitly or implicitly, in relation to the other. This generates a rich variety of approaches, but also a number of identifiable commonalities.
We start from the proposition that 'popular culture' is largely absent as an explicit category ofÃ£Â€Â€artsÃ£Â€Â€policy and debate today. The Ã¢Â€Â˜artsÃ¢Â€Â™ are still, in practice, construedÃ£Â€Â€in terms of eliteÃ£Â€Â€culture (despite claims to the contrary), while artefacts such as popular music, television, fashion, and so on are assumed to figure among the cultural or creative Ã¢Â€Â˜industriesÃ¢Â€Â™, giving the popular a set of narrowly economic, professional and commodity connotations. And yet, the popular is, in a range of ways, powerfully present as an implicit dimension of public policy and as a catalyst of cultural practices and attitudes. This apparent paradox underpins the proposal.
The book is a collaboration between two UK-based institutions: the University of LeedsÃ¢Â€Â™s Popular Cultures Research Network and the well established Centre for Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick.
This book was originally published as a special issue of International Journal of Cultural Policy.