Social Practice, Children and the Possibility of Friendship


by Darren O'Donnell

From my research on the previous first essay, it appears that within the realm of cultural policy, the child is seen to be the beneficiary of ameliorative cultural activity intended primarily to empower, engage, fortify or otherwise improve. However, considering the heavy emphasis and rhetoric dedicated to the importance of the cultural industries in economic terms, there appears to be little provision in incorporating children and young people as economic actors, only as social beneficiaries. Making matters worse, is the fact that commitment to the arts in schools across Canada, the US and the UK has been dropping, with arts education increasingly relegated to the bottom tier, with parents having to fundraise to supply arts enrichment to their schools (People for Education 2008). It appears that the Ministry of Education didn't get the memo from the Ministry of Economic Development that we're now in a creative economy.

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