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Measuring the diversity of cultural expressions Heritiana Ranaivoson, Senior Researcher, IBBT-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel,

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Presentation on theme: "Measuring the diversity of cultural expressions Heritiana Ranaivoson, Senior Researcher, IBBT-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Measuring the diversity of cultural expressions Heritiana Ranaivoson, Senior Researcher, IBBT-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, hranaivo@vub.ac.be

2 1. Measuring diversity – what for?

3 What measuring allows to do when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it Lord Kelvin (1883) To measure may be necessary to address policies (e.g. Bernier, 2003) Article 19 – Exchange, analysis and dissemination of information of the 2005 UNESCO Convention: 1. Parties agree to exchange information and share expertise concerning data collection and statistics on the diversity of cultural expressions as well as on best practices for its protection and promotion.

4 The risks of measuring Objectivizing categories Getting a purely mechanistic view of diversity Goodhardts law: Once a statistic is created to address one problem, we tend to address the statistic in the simplest way, which does not necessarily solve the problem But there are other examples of qualitative / subjective concepts being assessed, e.g. innovation, biodiversity

5 2. What has been done so far?

6 A challenge addressed through various means In different fields: Academic Vs Institutional (national or international) Different aims: Research Vs Market study Vs Policy-driven Different time frames One-shot Vs regular Different uses Building Vs analyzing

7 A tradition of assessing diversity in the academic literature Source: Ranaivoson, 2007 A huge amount of research on diversity in the creative industries Hardly comparable Different sectors & methodologies Issue of definition General approaches:Sectorial approaches: Baxter, 1974 ; Cowen, 2000 ; Caplan et Cowen, 2004 ; Seo, 2004 ; Van der Wurff, 2004 ; Paris, 2005 ; Flores, 2006. Sectors:Theoretical Models:Empirical Models: Recording Baker, 1991 ; Allain and Waelbroeck, 2006. Peterson and Berger, 1975 ; Anderson et al., 1980 ; Rothenbuhler and Dimmick, 1982 ; Lopes, 1992 ; Chung and Cox, 1994 ; Alexander, 1996 ; Peterson and Berger, 1996 ; Dowd, 2001. Video Hellman and Soramäki, 1985 ; Elberse and Oberholzer-Gee, 2006. Movie Moreau et Peltier, 2004. Publishing van Kranenbourg et al., 2004 ; Benhamou and Peltier, 2006. Newspapers Gabszewicz et al., 2001 ; Gabszewicz et al., 2002. RadioSteiner, 1952. TelevisionSpence and Owen, 1977. Blank, 1966 ; Levin, 1971 ; Greenberg and Barnett, 1971 ; McDonald and Lin, 2004 ; Van der Wurff, 2005. Others Rosen, 1981 ; Adler, 1985 ; MacDonald, 1988 ; Schulze, 2003 ; Moureau, 2006 ; Adler, 2006.

8 Institutional assessment: The Case of the French Observatory of Music Diversity… Source: Mapping Cultural Diversity – Good Practices from Around the Globe. A Contribution to the Debate on the Implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

9 To learn from the Observatory of Music Source: Mapping Cultural Diversity… Its self-professed key principles: Regularity Neutrality Free access to information Coordination Other interesting features Plurality of views Exhaustive approach Missing and unclear Definition of diversity The means (budget and people)

10 3. How to define diversity?

11 Why is the question (of defining) important? A common basis is necessary for discussion A prerequisite of assessment Crucial to build and evaluate policies => A three-dimensional definition of cultural diversity

12 e.g. programming by one channel over a period : element, i.e. program (e.g. Ghostbusters, Stade 2) : Category of program (e.g. Cinema movie, News Programme) a. Diversity as a mix of variety, balance and disparity (Stirling, 2007) Building a typology

13 Variety corresponds to the number of categories AB In terms of Variety B is more diverse than A a. Diversity as a mix of variety, balance and disparity (Stirling, 2007) The three components of diversity

14 Balance corresponds to the way the elements are spread among categories AC In terms of Balance C is more diverse than A a. Diversity as a mix of variety, balance and disparity (Stirling, 2007) The three components of diversity (2)

15 Disparity corresponds to the degree of difference between the categories AD In terms of Disparity D is more diverse than A a. Diversity as a mix of variety, balance and disparity (Stirling, 2007) The three components of diversity (3)

16 b. Supplied and consumed diversities (Van der Wurff et Van Cuilenburg, 2001) Supplied diversity : which kind of diversity is proposed by the producers? What level? Are there diverse producers? Etc. Consumed diversity: taking into account the supplied diversity (and the audiences tastes) is consumption diverse?

17 c. Diversity of producers/products/audience Product, e.g.Content (or part of content) Set of contents Producer, e.g.Artist Producer Distributor Selling point Audience, e.g.Individual Group of individuals hranaivo@ensmp.fr

18 4. How to measure diversity?

19 A diversity index Vs a set of indexes on diversity A single index is more easy to use and facilitates comparisons A set of indexes facilitates the use of incomplete data and allows to keep more information Completeness and consistency (relative to the definition) Parsimony (i.e. simplicity of use) Transparency of the assumptions Robustness relative to the value of the parameters Not too demanding as for the necessary data Properties of a good (set of) index(es)

20 Examples of indexes (Farchy and Ranaivoson, 2010)

21 Conclusion Cultural diversity as a consensual motto. Its definition and measurement should: prevent misuses give it some substance (a common basis for discussion) A need for empirical (and international) studies Too few international reflections about the regular measurement of diversity (e.g. KUL et al., 2009) The main debate is on the diversity of what => Importance of categorization

22 hranaivo@vub.ac.be Thanks for your attention


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