Cultural participation in digital environments: goals and stakes for Quebec cultural policies

Nathalie Casemajor, Guy Bellavance & Guillaume Sirois (2020)

International Journal of Cultural Policy, online.

Abstract. Digital environments have expanded the forms of cultural participation. This paper has two aims: first, to elucidate the changing definitions of cultural participation in relation to digital environments; second, to examine the ways in which cultural policies respond to the new digital conditions of cultural participation. Focusing on Quebec (Canada), this paper is based on a critical review of grey literature in the public policy. We identified three main goals pursued by Quebec cultural policies regarding digital participation: 1) to produce and disseminate national cultural content; 2) to encourage cultural equity and diversity; 3) to encourage digital equity. The analysis shows that these goals partially exceed the scope of cultural policies to intersect with economic, educational, and youth policies. We also argue that policy frameworks and funding programs in support of cultural policies tend to legitimize an overlap of civic, commercial, and industrial logics of cultural participation.

Extract. “First, we situate some of the major changes that have occurred in cultural participation with the development of the digital environment. We then discuss three main goals of Quebec cultural policies in this area: to produce and disseminate national 1 cultural content; to encourage cultural equity and diversity; and to encourage digital equity. To conclude, we discuss the main issues raised by the reconfiguration of cultural publics in the digital environment for cultural policies in relation to civic, commercial, and industrial logics of cultural participation (Boltanski and Thévenot 2006 [1991])”

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