13 novembre 2011

Variety, Balance, Disparity (Stirling)

- Cultural Diversity Awareness -
Cultural diversity : “the ethnically marked cultural differences associated with the international movement of peoples and, within national territories, the claims to difference associated with the protracted struggles of in situ minorities to maintain their identity and specificity in the face of the homogenizing force of national cultures”
Differing diversities. Transversal study on the theme of cultural policy and cultural diversity (Bennett T., 2001, Cultural Policy and Action Department)
Application of the Stirling model to assess diversity using UIS cinema data 
(Françoise Benhamou and Stéphanie Peltier, UNESCO, 2010) [PDF]

Vertical axis : admission per capita in each country (top= most movie goers)
Size of the dot : number of films produced annualy in each country
Horizontal axis : HHI indicator = Cultural diversity (Left= most diverse)
Overall diversity (including all factors) : draw a line from the origin (bottow left corner) and the country, the highest angle defines the best score (angle closer to horizontal = least overall diversity)

Among other things, the concept includes languages, high and popular culture, and ways of life. [..]
Diversity in this case relies on many different factors – for example, the ability of producers to work with film-makers and actors from different origins, the number of films released or on the level of standardization of goods and more. Cultural diversity can be captured through two complementary dimensions. The first deals with the “human” criteria (i.e. criteria that apply to individuals), such as the genre or the origin of film-makers. The second dimension refers to more “material” criteria (i.e. criteria that apply to products, such as the nationality of a film). Of course, “human” and “material” criteria may be linked. The nationality of a movie depends on the original country where the film is produced but it may also have an influence on the nationality of the film-maker. More generally speaking, while some aspects are easily quantifiable, others are definitely qualitative. [..]
It is hypothesized that the diversity of cultural products implies diversity in the industrial structures and in the governance of companies. This can be seen in the TV sector in particular (Steiner, 1952). Many studies show that oligopolies with a competitive fringe dominate in cultural industries. This structure is well-adapted to the uncertainty that characterizes the production of cultural goods and services. The firms on the fringe develop a propensity to innovate thanks to their proximity to creators while the firms in the core regularly try to attract the most creative artists and/or to purchase the most promising small labels and firms.
If we adopt this point of view, we can assert that a country that wishes to support diversity is interested in subsidizing the creation of small firms – directly or indirectly (e.g. through tax cuts, etc.).
Table 14 :
- Among 33 top ten films – for at least one of the two years analysed – on average, 9 countries (27% of those sampled) share at least 7 titles in common with the global top ten over the 2005-2006 period. This percentage bears testimony to the existence of a globalized taste but also of the persistence of an audience ready to assert national and/or local preferences.
- National top ten are deeply different from global top ten in the countries that are culturally rather distant from the United States, like Japan (3.5 titles from 2005-2006), Malaysia (3.5), Morocco (3) and the Republic of Korea (3).
- The case in Italy seems peculiar. The rate of similarity (2) is the weakest of the sample in 2005. Yet, since data are not available for Italy in 2006, we cannot conclude that the Italian top ten is more diverse than for one of the other countries.

Table 15 : Films can be shot in several languages. This is especially true in multi-language countries like Austria, India, Nigeria, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. In some cases, there can be more than five languages in a given country.

Table 16 : The balance between different languages is somewhat high for Canada, Croatia, India, Morocco, Nigeria, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland. This balance concerns only two main languages in the cases of Canada and Croatia


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