The Rise of the Global Leisure/Cultural Industries

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The rise of the global leisure/cultural industries
The term ‘globalization’ is widely used to describe a variety of economic, cultural, social, and political changes that have changed the world over the past 50 years (Guttal, 2010). Globalization can be conceived as time-space compression, accelerating interconnectedness, and action at a distance (Kim, 2005). Globalization thus suggests the expanding scale, speeding up and deepening impact of flows and patterns of social interaction (Held and McGrew in Kim, 2005). The field of leisure studies has been urged, like all others, to engage with globalization. Globalization is the subject of analyses of specific forms of leisure, such as tourism (Wahab & Cooper, 2001), media (Kheeshadeh, 2012; Jan, 2009), and culture (Hochschild, 1998). Hesmondhalagh (2007) states that the internationalisation of the cultural industries over the last 30 years has been driven by the need to find new markets for labour and for their products. He concludes that culture, society and business are becoming more intertwined than ever, and therefore talks about the ‘cultural industries’. In addition, Mommaas (2008) talks about the coming into being of a highly dynamic ‘leisure industries’, where a much more horizontal and inclusive perspective dominates the leisure field. He states that content of the leisure market is produced by public and private organisations, which try to find their niche in an increasingly inter-related and thus competitive global/local leisure market. Globalization thus entailed the integration of the different leisure/cultural sectors into a global leisure/cultural industries. But what lies at the bottom of the rise of the global leisure/cultural industries? And what are the main organisational consequences? Therefore, the main question of this paper is: What underlies the rise of the global leisure/cultural industries, and what are the main organisational consequences of the rise of these global leisure/cultural industries? By reflecting on the social, economic and cultural tensions involved on the basis of various theoretical perspectives, the aim of this study is to understand what lies at the bottom of the rise of the global leisure/cultural industries, and to explain its organisational consequences. Castells’ notion of the ‘informational’ society will be used to explore the underlying factors to the rise of the global leisure/cultural industries, after which various theoretical perspectives on the space of flows will be reviewed to get a deeper understanding of what the main organisational consequences are of this rise of the global leisure/cultural industries. At last, a conclusion will be drawn based on the theoretical overview. The ‘informational’ society

The ‘informational’ society contains two central elements, namely the network society, and the culture of real virtuality. Before entering into a discussion concerning these two elements, it is necessary to go back to the core of the ‘informational’ society, that is the digitalisation or ‘informatisation’ of the economy. According to Castells (2000) a new economy emerged in the last quarter of the twentieth century on a worldwide scale, which he calls ‘informational’, ‘global’, and ‘networked’: “It is informational because the productivity and competitiveness of units or agents in this economy fundamentally depend upon their capacity to generate, process, and apply efficiently knowledge-based information. It is global because the core activities of production, consumption, and circulation, as well as their components are organized on a global scale, either directly or through a network of linkages between economic agents. It is networked because, under the new historical conditions, productivity is generated through and competition is played out in a global network of interaction between business networks.” (Castells, 2000: p. 77) The information technology revolution at the end of the twentieth...
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