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UNCHARTED: Understanding, Capturing and Fostering the Societal Value of Culture

Project description

Measuring culture’s societal impact

What is the social value of culture? While culture is increasingly being viewed from an economic perspective, there is much more at stake. Focusing on the valuation practices developed by different actors involved in the cultural sector, the EU-funded UNCHARTED project will identify Europe’s plurality of cultural values attached to specific cultural products, productions, services, activities and sites. It will consider the multiplicity of agents and the diversity of evaluation practices. Led by the University of Barcelona and involving 10 research partners based in France, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, the project will focus on the valuation practices of the various actors involved in cultural life, from the audience and visitors to the artists to experts and politicians.


In recent decades, with the growing emphasis on the creative economy, culture has tended to be increasingly seen in political circles under the exclusive lens of the economy and its contribution to it. To counteract this tendency, it is necessary to define the social values associated with culture on a different basis from the traditional one. The work focuses on the valuation practices of the actors involved in cultural life. In this respect, three areas and three types of fundamental actors in the value dynamics of culture are distinguished: the field of cultural participation, in which citizenship is the protagonist; the field of cultural production and heritage, where the professionals of creation and preservation are the ones who take the initiative; and the field of cultural administration, in which it is the experts and politicians who decide. The project takes these three areas and this basic typology of actors as a starting point to structure the study of the different aspects involved in this evaluative dynamic: the emergence of values, the configuration of a value order and the political impulse of values.

Call for proposal


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Sub call




Net EU contribution
€ 695 367,86
Gran via de les corts catalanes 585
08007 Barcelona

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (9)