The Cultural Conceits of Subnational Governments of National Minorities: A Comparative Analysis of the Cultural Policies of Québec, Scotland, & Catalonia

Title: The Cultural Conceits of Subnational Governments of National Minorities: A Comparative Analysis of the Cultural Policies of Québec, Scotland, & Catalonia
Authors: Beauregard, Devin
Date: 2016
Abstract: Cultural policy research typically emphasises national and local policies in its studies, while studies of subnational and regional policies tend to be less common. Between the levels of country and city, however, there is a vast array of cultural policy-types that is often cast aside or underrepresented in the literature – this, despite the fact that a number of prominent subnational governments of national minorities have been extremely active in developing their own cultural policies and institutions. Unlike their national or local counterparts, however, these subnational governments often contend with an additional layer of complexity when developing cultural policies, as their history and their population differ from that of their country’s cultural majority – which often leads to a different understanding and appreciation of their cultural identity and sense of nationalism. It is with this complexity and difference in mind that this thesis examines the cultural policies developed and implemented by subnational governments expressing a different national identity from that of their country – in particular, the Canadian province of Québec, the United Kingdom nation of Scotland, and the Spanish region of Catalonia – with the purpose of exploring the ways in which cultural policies are used to shape and influence a sense of cultural identity. Drawing on the economies of worth framework elaborated by Boltanski and Thévenot and the theory of governmentality developed by Foucault, this thesis developed a type analysis of cultural policy for national minorities as a means of exploring not only the ways in which their policies differ from that of their majority counterparts, but to offer a unique understanding of their culture and cultural/social predicament. Through its type analysis, this thesis found that the cultural policies of national minorities exhibited a unique trend in terms of: their application of the cultural industries as vehicles for the development and growth of their cultural/national identities; their support of culture and art as drivers of economic development and social cohesion; and their appraisal of artists and cultural producers as symbolic and literal ambassadors of cultural identity both nationally and internationally. More specifically, far from simply introducing policies that endeavour to preserve and protect cultural traditions and heritages as it has long been suspected, national minorities are developing policies that emphasise the creative aspects of culture and seek to grow their cultures identities through the production and dissemination of new works or forms of culture and art. In other words, the cultural policies of national minorities exhibit a discursive temporality: there is an acute awareness and appreciations of the culture of the past, juxtaposed by approaches to culture that seek to ensure the culture continues (and evolves) beyond the present.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -