Chapter 21 Patterns and dynamics of globalization of cultural industries
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Fashion design from Nigeria, films and contemporary art from China and TV series from Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and India; emerging economies are now home to globally competitive cultural industries. Although Western countries, and the US in particular, are still very important in the production and consumption of these industries there is no doubt that a fundamental shift regarding the geography is occurring. Former peripheral countries are now challenging those in what used to be the core in the global division of labour by selling all kinds of commodified culture across borders on a large scale. In this chapter, we offer a brief overview of processes of globalization of cultural industries after 1945, an overview which is sketchy and anything but exhaustive due to the limited space and the relative dearth of suitable and rigorous data on the cultural industries on a more global scale. The chapter starts with setting out the defining characteristics of products of cultural industries – their symbolic, aesthetic and experiential qualities – and how that influences their ability to cross borders. Thereafter, we provide an overview of the (geographical) patterns and dynamics of the globalization of cultural industries. We, then, present two brief case studies of cultural industries – respectively the film industry and architectural design – to illustrate the variegated patterns of globalization. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the wider implications of research on the cultural industries.

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