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Wright - How culture became digital

Wright, D. (2022). How culture became digital: Editor’s introduction. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 28(7): 777–785.

This special issue of the International Journal of Cultural Policy is dedicated to the digitalisation of culture. The nine articles present different perspectives, country and platform examples, as well as historical developments of ‘how culture became digital’. Policymaking is at the centre of these analyses, which show the ways in which cultural policy has constantly been adapting (in many instances slowly and lagging behind technological developments) to changes in society and cultural institutions, often driven by commercial interest.

The issue provides an important overview of central topics at the intersection of digitalisation and cultural policy, at a point in time when ministries of culture are in the process of adding ‘digital’ as one of their main areas. As Wright summarizes, ‘[t]ogether they can contribute to an important conversation about the relations between “culture” and “the digital” that goes beyond whether such technologies are somehow inherently good, bad, essential, or damaging for social and cultural life but acknowledges the stakes at play in this relationship for the varied organisations, institutions, and actors that make up the cultural sector and for the societies of which they are a part.’ (p. 783).


David Wright “How culture became digital”