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The Social and Cultural Embedding of Cultural and Creative Clusters: Three Case Studies of Taiwan with Indigenous, Community and Urban Dimensions

Wu, Jiun-Yi (2022). The Social and Cultural Embedding of Cultural and Creative Clusters: Three Case Studies of Taiwan with Indigenous, Community and Urban Dimensions. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


This thesis examines the notion of clusters as applied in cultural and creative sectors. Specifically, this thesis explores social and cultural (as opposed to the more common economic) dimensions of clustering and argues that these two factors form a locality-specific context which enables diverse development of cultural and creative clusters in varied settings, namely urban and rural. This thesis applies a qualitative methodology to conduct research with the primary research method of interviews. The participants of this research are individual cultural and creative workers who were grantees of a funding project aiming to promote development of cultural and creative clusters of Taiwan implemented by the Ministry of Taiwan.

By contrast with most previous studies, this thesis demonstrates the pivotal role of culture in the formation of a cultural and creative cluster. Culture represents indigenous cultural embedding and creating an identity for indigenous cultural and creative workers, as well as personal preferences for the specific culture of a locality for other participants of this research. This thesis reveals an embedded nature of cultural and creative practices (in particular, craft activities). Professional identity is also imperative when it comes to cluster formation. Since cultural and creative sectors are deemed as volatile and precarious, mutual professional identity is vital for cultural and creative workers to acquire and maintain an affective connection, which enables further traded and untraded interactions. These two major factors explain the formation of communities of practice, in particular, cultural and creative sectors (in this case, crafts).

With the investigation of three cultural and creative clusters in Taiwan, this thesis aims to set up a discussion of how local contexts can contribute to the varied development of clusters. Thus, this thesis reveals and highlights the differences of rural clusters while mainstream research studies often focus on urban settings. Overall, this thesis argues that non-economic dimensions of clustering have been overlooked by mainstream research. Local social and cultural aspects of clustering do not simply provide an alternative perspective, but a more thorough understanding of the types of cultural and creative clusters, such as craft-based clusters.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Arts & Social Sciences
School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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