Table of Contents

Handbook on the Experience Economy

Handbook on the Experience Economy

Elgar original reference

Edited by Jon Sundbo and Flemming Sørensen

This illuminating Handbook presents the state-of-the-art in the scientific field of experience economy studies. It offers a rich and varied collection of contributions that discuss different issues of crucial importance for our understanding of the experience economy. Each chapter reflects diverse scientific viewpoints from disciplines including management, mainstream economics and sociology to provide a comprehensive overview.

Chapter 19: The social experience of cultural events: conceptual foundations and analytical strategies

Fabian Holt and Francesco Lapenta

Subjects: business and management, marketing, development studies, tourism, economics and finance, cultural economics, industrial economics, services, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


This chapter presents a systematic review of conventional approaches to the experience of cultural events. The argument is that valuable approaches exist in various fields of study, but that the deeper conceptual foundations have yet to be clarified and examined. To this end, the chapter reviews existing approaches from an essentially sociological perspective on cultural experience as something that not only involves shared experience and interaction in a particular situation but also lifestyle aspects, social agendas and world views. One of the distinctive features of cultural events is their ability to engage participants in the experience of issues and agendas in both simple and complex forms. The bulk of the chapter is a theoretical outline that reviews and synthesizes complementary perspectives in the fields of sociology, communication studies and business studies for understanding the key dimensions in the evolution of cultural events over the course of the past couple of decades. More important than ever before is the media dimension, which has been overlooked because events have historically been defined by their difference from media experience, by the direct face-to-face interaction between bodies.

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