Cultural Democracy: The Arts, Community, and the Public by James Bau Graves

By James Bau Graves

Cultural Democracy explores the drawback of our nationwide cultural power, as entry to the humanities turns into more and more mediated by means of a handful of companies and the slender tastes of rich elites. Graves deals the idea that of cultural democracy as corrective - an concept with very important historical and modern validation, and an alternate pathway towards moral cultural improvement that's a part of an international shift in values. Drawing upon quite a number scholarship and illustrative anecdotes from his personal reports with cultural courses in ethnically diversified groups, Graves explains in convincing aspect the dynamics of ways conventional and grassroots cultures may perhaps continue to exist and thrive - or now not - and what we will do to supply them possibilities equivalent to these of mainstream, Eurocentric tradition.

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Some forms of social capital are, by choice or necessity, inward looking and tend to reinforce exclusive identities and homogeneous groups. Examples of bonding social capital include ethnic fraternal organizations, church-based women’s reading groups, and fashionable country clubs. Other networks are outward looking and encompass people across diverse social cleavages. Examples of bridging social capital include the civil rights movement, many youth service groups, and ecumenical religious organizations.

Dynamic, progressive societies develop mechanisms to enhance the web of social capital. Robert Putnam’s book Bowling Alone offers a striking statistical portrait of the decline of social capital in contemporary America, as we increasingly become observers, rather than doers. He suggests that the creation and sustenance of social capital is vital to the functioning of any society, and offers an analysis of how it functions. “Of all the dimensions along which forms of social capital vary, perhaps the most important is the distinction between bridging (or inclusive) and bonding (or exclusive),” he writes.

They’re just not interested in singing in African,” she explained on behalf of her choir. “They love the gospel music, but they just don’t want to have to sing something that is strange and they can’t understand. Bring back Gary Hines and they’ll be there. ” But that wasn’t the worst of it: no African refugees showed up this time, either. What went wrong? In my naiveté, I’d made a series of mistaken assumptions about the prospective participants. I violated the first rule of anyone who has ever tried to do any kind of community organizing: know your community.

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