Digital Humanities and Cultural Economy

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Big data has opened new avenues for understanding the cultural economy and the artists and organisations within it, and this helped the sector grapple with issues such as diversity in participating in the arts and culture labour market and leadership roles, in governing the cultural economy, and what success looks like in the cultural economy. But the political contexts in which data is collected, processed and prosecuted needs to be acknowledged. In looking at the relationship between digital humanities and cultural economy, this chapter considers the role of data in the cultural sector and its implications for use in research. The chapter argues that digital humanities tools and thinking is at work in the cultural economy in interesting and useful ways and that this needs to be framed by the critical digital humanities –a questioning of underlying assumptions about the digital tools, methods and in the field. The chapter uses three case studies to examine these issues: the use of mapping tools to understand the creative industries as a field; Deb Verhoeven’s Kinomatics project illuminates the histories and distribution of cinema; and the use of network analysis tools and methods to examine the governance boards of arts organisations in England. There is an ethics of duty of care in the adoption of data science and digital humanities methodologies in the cultural economy that researchers need to attend to.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Bloomsbury Handbook to the Digital Humanities
EditorsJames O'Sullivan
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781350232129, 9781350232136
ISBN (Print)9781350232112
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameBloomsbury Handbooks


  • digital humanities
  • culture
  • Digital methodology
  • Big data


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