CES joins international project to discuss the importance of culture in Europe

August 2019

The Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra (UC) will join the consortium of a European project that aims to study the social value of culture, focusing on the valuation practices developed by the different actors involved in the cultural sector. With a €3 million funding from the European Union's research and innovation framework programme H2020, the consortium UNCHARTED: Understanding, Capturing and Fostering the Societal Value of Culture will be led by the University of Barcelona, involving 10 research partners based in France, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The growing emphasis of the creative economy in European society has contributed to the fact that, in political circles, culture has been increasingly viewed only from its economic perspective. In order to fully understand the plurality of cultural values in Europe, this project aims to counteract the prevalence given to the economic wealth that culture generates. It therefore seeks to define the social values of culture and its potential for today's society.

During this study, the UNCHARTED project will consider the multiplicity of agents and the diversity of evaluation practices involved. CES will play an important role in the development of the project by contributing to identify the plurality of cultural values emerging from cultural participation and engagement in culture and live arts. This work will explore the perspectives of the audience, visitors and communities in different parts of Europe. The aim is to uncover the plurality of values attached to specific cultural products, productions, services, activities, and sites. The CES team will include researchers Nancy Duxbury (coord.), Cláudia Carvalho and Paula Abreu.

Additionally, CES will participate in the synthesis and reflection of detailed reports on the four research areas: grammars of valuation and evaluation in cultural practices of consumption; practices of evaluation in cultural production and heritage management; the influence of public administration evaluation methodologies on cultural production and heritage management; and the representations of cultural value in cultural information systems. CES will also contribute to comparative analyses concerning cultural policy interventions and impacts relating to the plural values of culture.