Edited by Philip Cooke and Luciana Lazzeretti
Chapter 2: Cultural Resources and Regional Development: The Case of the Cultural Legacy of Watchmaking
Leïla Kebir and Olivier Crevoisier The objective of this chapter is to contribute to the discussion of cultural resources. It explores the way in which these resources are incorporated within the production process on the one hand, and the consequences of doing so on the resources thus mobilized on the other. Economic exchanges are also social exchanges and cultural communication. A regional production system seeking value creation can then focus on the cultural component of its products rather than their purely technological and economic properties. ‘Cultural resources’ are today the object of considerable attention (Camagni et al., 2004; Colletis and Pecqueur, 1994; Lazzeretti, 2004; Pecqueur, 2000). It seems, in fact, that these resources conceal new possibilities for innovation and economic expansion. But what, in fact, is a ‘cultural resource’? In what way(s) can a cultural ‘object’ become an economic resource? Is it simply possible to consider these resources as production factors like the others, or does their cultural ‘nature’ give them particular properties? Culture can be understood as the speciﬁc way in which a community understands the world, is thus understood as a community, and as the way the community deﬁnes itself in comparison with others, and communicates with them. In becoming an economic resource, a cultural ‘object’ ﬁnds itself embedded within commercial relationships. What, then, are the causes and consequences of this commodiﬁcation of culture for the production systems, for the clients and for the local communities, for which latter this means bringing a...
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