From Cultural Value to Culture's Value: The Part-to-Whole Relationship in Assessments

Tully Barnett, Julian Meyrick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, we consider dominant arguments for the ‘disaggregation’of the value of culture into discrete dimensions–economic, social, environmental, heritage and cultural and so forth–and their separate measurement. We discuss the role of proxies in assessment processes (‘parts’) and their relationship to the cultural experiences (‘wholes’) for which they are taken to be representative indicators. Disaggregation encourages a divisible approach to cultural activities that, at their heart, present as non-divisible experiences. Thus, we should speak of ‘culture's value’as opposed to ‘cultural value’as a way of highlighting a crucial methodological point–that arts and culture are more than the sum of their parts and that the assessment of a particular cultural activity must consider not only the benefits returned by its separate dimensions but also the activity's overall purpose, scope and place in the world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring Cultural Value
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Issues for Theory and Practice
EditorsKim Lehman, Ian Fillis, Mark Wickham
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78973-517-8, 978-1-78973-515-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-78973-516-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cultural value
  • Cultural economy
  • Contemporary drama
  • Cultural policy
  • Evaluation
  • Cultural measurement


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