Accounting for Multiculturalism: The Utility of Cultural Indicators and the Politics of Diversity and Participation
Multiculturalism has become a charged arena in recent times with proponents and critics focusing on the value of its utility. Existing models measuring the outcome of multiculturalism emanate from the social sciences that attempt to assess the degree of inter-cultural integration through cultural indices on ethnicity and tradition. This article argues that arts impact studies in general, and emergent cultural indicator frameworks in particular, provide a more robust arena for considering the utility of multiculturalism to claims of social, cultural and economic wellbeing. This article examines the impact of multicultural arts through the quality of cultural participation. It begins by critically surveying global, national and local indicator frameworks on measuring multiculturalism in recent developments of cultural policy. It suggests that current frameworks for thinking about cultural diversity and cultural participation are inadequate, and there is a need to develop a more nuanced understanding of these relations as they are played out in the context of people’s everyday cultural lives. It proposes a new framework that highlights a bi-directional theory-based approach to cultural citizenship and tests its utility against original fieldwork conducted in the growth corridor outer suburb of Whittlesea in Melbourne, Australia.
Conjunctions - Transdisciplinary Journal of Cultural Participation adhere to creative commons. You are free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for non-commercial use. However, you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Furthermore, you must not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
Waiver: Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the author.