On Cultural Markets

February, 2005

What follow are brief notes towards an initial way of understanding the positions states can occupy in the hierarchy of cultural power. Though the possible combinations are numerous and complex, we might propose an initial set of characterizations:

  • Culturally dominant states: abundant local production which meets the demands of a strong domestic market as well as those from abroad; imports are low. Examples: Britain and France in the nineteenth century; the US since 1945. 
  • Protectionist states: may have a strong domestic cultural market but are unable to export, and prevent imports. Example: the USSR. 
  • States whose domestic cultural market absorbs both local and foreign production, but which are unable to export significantly. Examples: Japan; India.
  • Culturally dominated states: what they consume originates mainly from abroad. Examples: Belgium; Bulgaria.

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