|dc.description.abstract||In the last chapter, culture and the wider creative paradigm were argued to be one of the most notable areas of economic activity of the new millennium, and as Lazzeretti et al (2018) note, has come to dominate policy and scholarly outputs over the last decade. In this chapter, the hidden aspects of that creative landscape are considered in full. The chapter examines what is meant by hidden culture, the value attached to this, as well as why culture becomes hidden.
Culture is a contested notion; having been subject to frequent scrutiny and debate in cross-disciplinary scholarship (e.g. Crossick and Kaszynska, 2016; Williams, 1989; Belfiore and Bennett, 2007). In the literature, culture is portrayed frequently as both a solution(an economic solution to locales) but is then problematised as a result of its neoliberalist tendencies (framed frequently as injustice and precarity), and as a problematic economic asset and tool. For example, the cultural industries as one area of the creative economy are widely credited as a driver for economic growth and urban regeneration (e.g. Florida, 2014; Landry 2000), but as Granger argues in the previous chapter, neoliberalist paradigms have given primacy to a financial lens through which use of public resources is scrutinised. The resulting imperative of ‘impact’ connotes value to the public but also raises wider issues about the financial impacts as a proxy of utility value or the collective benefit of products or institutions. For this reason, culture has been presented more as a lens for understanding societies (e.g. Hall, 1997; Bourdieu, 2010), communities (Belfiore, 2018), and organisations (Hofstede, 2011; Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 1998), and yet there has been a narrowing of the lens through which one might consider culture. Siloed working practices also mean that sector-specific definitions of culture have flourished, and as a result, there is a multiplicity of approaches for how we interpret culture and the wider creative economy as action, experience or asset. Moreover, it could be argued that the conflated use of terms such as popular culture, low culture, subculture and counterculture obfuscates what is valued, what is consumed by, and what is visible to society. As Raymond Williams notes, despite definitions which belie the true nature of culture, “we all want to be a part of culture and relate to it, and relate ourselves to it” (Williams, 1971, p.306). In other words, every discipline wants to claim culture as its own.
Against this backdrop, this chapter examines and problematises the definitional basis of culture, noting in particular the problems associated with ‘hidden culture’. As is noted, these hidden cultures are manifest in a variety of forms: secret or invisible; unacknowledged by those in power; latent or repressed; non-visual, or non-economic or taking place in private. The chapter considers all of these forms while making a case for a more transparent taxonomy of hidden culture and a framework for capturing the value in tacit, intrinsic and embodied cultural forms. The chapter starts by defining what we understand by culture, as a context for considering what is meant by hidden culture and why this is relevant to a broader discussion about value construction in the creative economy.||en