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A Case Study in Policy Delivery: Examining Social Inclusion through Interpretation and Practice

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The current body of literature regarding social inclusion and the arts tends to focus
on two areas: the lack of clear or common understanding of the terminology involved
(GLLAM, 2000) and the difficulty in measuring impact (Newman 2001). Further, much
of the literature traces the historical evolution of social inclusion policy within the arts
from a political and social perspective (Belfiore & Bennett, 2007), whilst others
examine the situation in the context of the museum as an institution more generally
(Sandell, 2002b). Such studies are essential; however they only touch on the
importance of understanding the context of social inclusion programmes. As each
individual’s experience of exclusion (or inclusion) is argued to be different (Newman
et al., 2005) and any experience is also process-based (SEU 2001), there is a need
for more thorough examination of the processes underpinning project delivery
(Butterfoss, 2006), particularly within a field that has its own issues of exclusion, such
as the arts (Bourdieu & Darbel, 1991). This paper presents case study findings of a
programme of contemporary arts participation for adults with learning difficulties
based at an arts centre in Liverpool. By focusing on practice, the paper applies
Wenger’s (1998) social theory of learning in order to assert that rather than search
for measurable impacts, examining the delivery of programmes within their individual
contexts will provide the basis for a more reflective practice and thus more effective
policy making.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural Policy, Criticism and Management Research
Journal publication date2008
StatePublished - 2008

Research areas

  • social inclusion, arts, disability, community of practice

ID: 9393905