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

Victoria Durrer

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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
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • social inclusion
    • arts
    • disability
    • community of practice


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