Chapter 4: Creative Industries in the UK: Cultural Diffusion or Discontinuity?
4. Creative industries in the UK: cultural diﬀusion or discontinuity? David Rae INTRODUCTION This chapter explores the development of the ‘creative industries’ in the United Kingdom. It plots the ascendance of the creative economy and comments on its attractiveness for policymakers in the context of the UK’s relative economic decline in other areas. Key issues in the creative economy that are faced by creative entrepreneurs, together with other stakeholders including policymakers, mainstream businesses, higher education establishments and the wider community who interact with the creative industries, are discussed. It is then argued that there are deep-seated discontinuities in British life between ‘the creative’ and ‘the mainstream’ which stem from long-standing diﬀerences in cultural, educational, social and economic contexts and which aﬀect interactions between the creative industries and the other constituencies. There is evidence that these discontinuities constrain the development of the creative economy in the United Kingdom. These need to be addressed for the mainstream economy to become more creative, an outcome desired by policymakers. The need to diﬀuse a culture of creative thinking and practices to overcome these discontinuities is proposed. Entrepreneurs in the creative and cultural industries have always faced the challenge of how to transform their ideas into viable enterprises, and there are a rapidly increasing number of examples of how this can be achieved. The concept of ‘cultural production and consumption’ has an established position in the literature on creative enterprise (Du Gay, 1997), but it is argued that the phenomenon of...
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