European inventory of
societal values of culture

Mihelj, Leguina & Downey - Culture is digital

Mihelj, S., Leguina, A., & Downey, J. (2019). Culture is digital: Cultural participation, diversity and the digital divide. New Media & Society, 21(7), 1465–1485.

This article critically examines the claims and hopes set forth by cultural policy agendas, commercial tech companies, and techno-optimistic voices in public discourse that directly connect the use of digital media to an increase in cultural participation. The authors base their analysis on British cultural participation statistics. While they confirm that digital media provide an important means for cultural institutions to engage new audiences, they also show that this engagement remains deeply unequal, both online and offline. Although digital media and access to culture via digital means have been imagined as solutions for unequal access to culture and thus received support from political bodies, the numbers actually point towards an even wider participation gap, reproducing existing inequalities.


Mihelj, Leguina & Downey - “Culture is digital: Cultural participation, diversity and the digital divide”