The Work of Cultural Intermediaries and the Enduring Distance between Production and Consumption

Negus, Keith. 2002. The Work of Cultural Intermediaries and the Enduring Distance between Production and Consumption. Cultural Studies, 16(4), pp. 501-515. ISSN 09502386 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article raises some critical questions about cultural intermediaries as both a descriptive label and analytic concept. In doing so, it has two main aims. First, it seeks to provide some clarification, critique and suggestions that will assist in the elaboration of this idea and offer possible lines of enquiry for further research. Second, it is argued that whilst studying the work of cultural intermediaries can provide a number of insights, such an approach provides only a partial account of the practices that continue to proliferate in the space between production and consumption. Indeed, in significant ways, a focus on cultural intermediaries reproduces rather than bridges the distance between production and consumption. The paper focuses on three distinct issues. First, some questions are raised about the presumed special significance of cultural intermediaries within the production/consumption relations of contemporary capitalism. Second, how 'creative' and active cultural intermediaries are within processes of cultural production is discussed. Third, specific strategies of inclusion/exclusion adopted by this occupational grouping are highlighted in order to suggest that access to work providing 'symbolic goods and services' is by no means as fluid or open as is sometimes claimed.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Cultural Intermediaries; Culture Industries; Bourdieu; Work

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Popular Music Research Unit


January 2002Published

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Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2009 15:42

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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