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  • 1.
    Lindström Sol, Sofia
    University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.
    Equal Access or Empowerment?: Understanding youth participation in cultural institutions through two Swedish case studies.2019In: Conjunctions: transdisciplinary journal of cultural participation, E-ISSN 2246-3755, Vol. 6, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The concept of cultural participation is seldom defined in policy but carries a positive connotation. The aim of this article is to understand how participation is made meaningful by policy stakeholders, exemplified by a swedish municipality, with special attention directed towards two cultural institutions working to enhance young people’s participation. The analysis considered levels of interest in participation, from the policy level, managerial level and civil servant level. The analysis found the meaning of participation shifted from a focus on equal access to empowering young people as a marginalised group, mirroring theories of a shift from a cultural democratisation paradigm to a cultural democracy paradigm in cultural policy. The civil servants shared an understanding that it is possible to distribute power from adults to young people, but the overlap of the two paradigms in the goal of achieving participation resulted in tensions and paradoxes regarding the issue of negotiating power.  

  • 2.
    Lindström Sol, Sofia
    University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.
    Reaching the unreachable2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Participation is a cultural policy priority of all Nordic states. The concept often relates to equality in access to culture. Policy makers and civil servants are therefore asking: how to reach those understood to be in the periphery - geographically, socially, and economically - those normally deemed as ‘unreachable’? This paper presents an ongoing research study of the administration of the cultural affairs in Gothenburg, Sweden, with the aim of highlighting three attempts at widening the visitor profile and reach those who normally don’t visit cultural institutions; a children’s film festival held in 2017 by the municipal Art Gallery called Vänskap IRL, the temporary central library space 300m2, and the exhibition Göteborgs Garderob at the City Museum. How do these institutions interpret/make sense of the aim of reaching those they normally don’t reach? Who are the unreachable? What activities mirror this aim and when has the aim been ‘fulfilled’?

  • 3.
    Lindström Sol, Sofia
    University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.
    The democratic value of participation in Swedish cultural policy2019In: Comunicação & Sociedade, ISSN 0101-2657, E-ISSN 2175-7755, Vol. 36, p. 81-99Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Through an exploration of Swedish cultural policy, this article analyses how policy legiti-mates its support for the arts and culture, and how “participation” is made meaningful in this process, to discuss how different understandings of culture and participation relate to changing notions of democratic governance in culture. The article discusses how an overarching discourse of culture as good, and therefore an interest in and responsibility for policy, can be understood as two discourses: 1) culture is good as it enables good things and 2) culture is good as it prevents bad things. These two discourses rest on different logics and “fixate” the concept of participa-tion in different ways but are constructed as if they were compatible. The meaning of democratic governance in culture is also differently interpreted in the two discourses – as either protection of autonomy, equality in access to culture, and participation as taking part, labelled a corporatist democracy, or as guaranteeing sustainable societies at risk, and participation as an equal pos-sibility to influence, labelled populist democracy. This break in discourse is interpreted as a sign of diminishing legitimacy of a corporatist discourse of democracy where experts have had the power to decide the content of cultural policy. The article partakes in a discussion on the role of participation and democracy in cultural policy.

  • 4.
    Lindström Sol, Sofia
    et al.
    University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.
    Ekholm, David
    CKS centre for municipality studies.
    Mobilising non-participant youth: using sport and culture in local government policy to target social exclusion2019In: The International Journal of Cultural Policy, ISSN 1028-6632, E-ISSN 1477-2833Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The role of sport and cultural practices in policy initiatives tends to be assessed in both cases in terms of their assumed social benefits. However, the areas of sport and culture are often understood separately in research. Through an analysis of interviews with key local policymakers and civil servants in two Swedish municipalities, the aim of this article is to explore how sport and culture are formed as means to promote social policy objectives regarding young people. In addition, we reflect on the political significance of this in relation to the development of local policy. The analysis demonstrates how a discourse of urban segregation and unequal opportunities underpins actions to mobilise non-participant and at-risk youth. This is achieved by establishing centres for sport and culture, and by enabling an educational approach which focuses on participation, empowerment and good citizenship. Reasons for mobilising practices involving culture and sport overlap, though each area of policy appears to be differently underpinned by discourses of enlightenment and conformity. Differences in emphasis between the discourses on sport and culture are discussed in relation to scientific discourse on the social utility of each policy area.

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