European inventory of
societal values of culture

Banks - Creative justice

Banks, M. (2017) Creative Justice: Cultural Industries, Work and Inequality. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-78660-128-5; 978-1-78660-129-2; eISBN 978-1-78660-130-8

The author of this book attempts to develop a framework for justice in the cultural industry sector. In his own words, his efforts are motivated by ‘the need to raise consciousness of injustice and to help connect the creative economy—and the cultural work it contains—to some normative principles that might make work more progressive and equalitarian, as well as fairer and more just’ (p. 9). While outlining how systemic inequalities are embedded in the cultural industries, the author affirms the thought that culture should be approached in dimensions transcending its economic value. Its social and aesthetic value should be emphasised, and the political sensibilities that influence it should be analysed.

 Recognising the problematic role that cultural industries and the creative economy play in the field of work, Banks proposes a redistribution of opportunities and financial gain in the sector. According to him, the first step in this direction would be to recognise that the success of the creative economy has been founded on denying the existence of any kind of economic injustice. This is all the more important since, despite increased attention to these issues, the precarity of wages and the extent of inequalities keep getting worse. The book is important because it represents a theoretically informed call for changing the state of play in the field and a platform for addressing the observed inequalities from the viewpoint of ‘distributive justice’.

Mark Banks “Creative Justice: Cultural Industries, Work and Inequality”