By Jim McGuigan

Jim McGuigan discusses cultural coverage as a manifestation of cultural politics within the widest experience. Illustrating his case with examples from fresh cultural coverage tasks in Britain, the U.S. and Australia, he seems to be at:* the increase of marketplace reasoning in arts management* city regeneration and the humanities* history tourism* Race, identification and cultural citizenship* Censorship and ethical rules* The position of computer-mediated communique in democratic discourse

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The ancient Greek city state of Athens had also produced a discourse of democratic citizenship and a meeting place for its articulation, the famous Agora, but without the ostensible universalism of the bourgeois public sphere. An absolute distinction was made by the ancient Greeks between the men who exercised their citizenship rights by speaking in the city square and women and the slave population who were denied participation. In comparison, the bourgeois public sphere assumed, in theory, boundless equality.

This line of argument assumes that liberal principles of democratic freedoms and rights are influential at least residually and open to further development and radicalisation. Moreover, the assumption is that, under late-modern conditions, the earlier modern principles of political democracy remain of critical relevance and are increasingly in contradiction with the liberal economics that they originally facilitated and which have in the closing decades of the twentieth century threatened to eclipse their legitimacy.

Introduced in the 1960s (Bourdieu, 1971 and 1973) and developed with greater sophistication in the 1980s (Bourdieu, 1993), Bourdieu has produced an economic analogy for the operations of the cultural field in which competition operates asymmetrically according to the unequal possession of various kinds of capital by participants. In addition to economic capital, there is cultural and symbolic capital. ‘Symbolic capital’, for example ‘correct’ speech such as Oxford English, facilitates power struggle and may be augmented and, indeed, triggered by economic capital, but, in Bourdieu’s theory, is also supported by reserves of culturally acquired competency, including art appreciation.

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