Details on article

Id 130
Author Belfiore, E., ; Bennett, O.,
Title Beyond the “Toolkit Approach”: Arts Impact Evaluation Research and the Realities of Cultural Policy‐Making

Belfiore, E. & Bennett, O. (2010) Beyond the “Toolkit Approach”: Arts Impact Evaluation Research and the Realities of Cultural Policy‐Making. Journal for Cultural Research, 14(2): 121-142.

Keywords Cultural policy-making; Research; Arts impact evaluation; Humanities
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Abstract This article presents a reflection on the possibility and potential advantages of the development of a humanities-based approach to assessing the impact of the arts, which attempts to move away from a paradigm of evaluation based on a one-size-fits-all model usually reliant on empirical methodologies borrowed from the social sciences. A “toolkit approach” to arts impact assessment, as the article argues, demands excessive simplifications, and its popularity is linked to its perceived advocacy potential rather than to any demonstrable contribution it may make to a genuine understanding of the nature and potential effects of artistic engagement. The article also explores the relationship between research, advocacy and the actual realities of policy-making with a view to proposing a critical research agenda for impact evaluation based on Carol Weiss’s notion of the “enlightenment” function of policy-oriented research. In particular, the article attempts to highlight the contribution that cultural policy scholars working within the humanities could make to this area of policy research.

Metodology Documentary analysis of the literature on the social impact of the arts

Findings Evidence suggests that government officials use research less to arrive at solutions than to orient themselves to problems. They use research to help them think about issues and define the problematics of a situation, to gain new ideas and new perspectives. They use research to help formulate problems and to set the agenda for future policy actions. And much of this use is not deliberate, direct, and targeted, but a result of long-term percolation of social science concepts, theories, and findings into the climate of informed opinion.
Open Access YES
DOI DOI: 10.1080/14797580903481280
Search Database SC (Scopus)
Technique Document analysis
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