Production and Consumption of Culture

Production and Consumption, Smartphone, Camera

ERMeCC Research Theme

In the past decades, cultural production and consumption have changed dramatically as a result of the interactions between social transformations, technological developments, and increasing market competition. Traditional boundaries between ‘highbrow’ and ‘popular’ arts have eroded. The traditionally strong ties between social status and symbolic value of culture have become more relaxed, cultural authorities have lost consecrating power due to processes of democratization, individualization, commercialization and globalization, and the tastes and behaviours of cultural consumers have become diversified and omnivorous.

At ERMeCC, we study the changing interests, preferences and practices of cultural audiences/consumers as well as the individual and organizational practices influencing the symbolic production of particular cultural products and genres. In many cultural fields individual entrepreneurs, intermediaries, and other cultural agents continuously try to shape beliefs about culture. We examine how traditional social inequalities – in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, class, or regional descent – are being (re)produced in the process.

We also focus on larger temporal and spatial facets of these practices e.g. by comparing time periods and cities or countries. Cultural and media tourism is one of the key areas in our research. Special attention is also paid to the role of various types of media and intermediary agencies in the symbolic production of culture and the making of and engagement with cultural heritage.


ERMeCC researchers focus on the following subjects:

  • Cultural classification and boundary making (Berkers, Berghman, Braden, Van Eijck, Janssen, Schaap, Verboord)
  • Cultural and media tourism (Reijnders, Castro, Chow, Siri Driessen, Van Es, Mannheimer, Martens, Nieuwland, Nanjangud, Povoa, Schiavone, McCarthy)
  • The role of cities and other localities in cultural memory and cultural heritage (Brandellero, Van der Hoeven, Janssen, Mannheimer, Reijnders)
  • Social dimensions of omnivorousness in cultural consumption and media use (Berghman, Simone Driessen, Van Eijck, Michael, Verboord)
  • Online participation and information use of cultural and media consumers (Van Eldik, Gong,Janssen, Koreman, Slot, Verboord)
  • Cultural authority and trust in online environments (Dalla Chiesa, Gong, Janssen, Koreman, Verboord, Vermeylen)
  • Selection and valuation processes in art and culture (Braden, Berkers, Dekkers, Janssen, Kuipers, Schaap, Verboord)
  • Ritual and moral dimensions of popular media (Boross, Simone Driessen, Krijnen, Reijnders)

Projects (selection)

Listed below is a selection of ERMeCC research projects in this area.

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