Consumption Skills in the Post-Modern Economy
Harry Hillman Chartrand ©
Journal of Art & Design Education6 (1),, 1987, 35-50
I am an economist, an economist who believes that the future economy will be an economy of quality. Furthermore, I believe it will be mainly through the study of the arts that the economics profession will begin to understand the nature and impact of quality in the emerging economy. Fundamental changes are altering the contemporary economy. Some are readily apparent, for example, ‘High Tech’ and low wage ‘off-shore’ production in
I use the term ‘Post-Modern’ in preference to the more
usual ‘post-industrial’ for two reasons. First, industrial production, in the
opinion of most observers, will continue to play a significant role in future
economic growth and development. Accordingly, ‘post-industrial’ is
simplistic and an inappropriate label to describe the emerging economic reality.
Second, at present no school of
economic thought enjoys widespread public confidence. The success of the world economy from
the Second World War through the early 1970s led most economists and politicians
to accept the Keynsian creed that government intervention was the ultimate
guarantor of growth and development. By the mid-1970s, however, stagflation,
recession, the oil crisis, and growth of public sector debt created a crisis of
confidence, a crisis predicted by Keynes himself (Shackle, 1967,
Today various economic theories and dogma compete for
attention and acceptance. To an
extent, the 1980s are a time of ‘cultural counter-reformation’, a period in
which many are trying to resuscitate traditional values and beliefs swept away
by the turbulent ‘cultural revolution’ of the 1960s, and the economic crisis of
In fact, popular confidence in economic theory has been
shattered, a situation similar to that in contemporary architecture in which the
certainties of the ‘modern’ or international style have been replaced by an
eclecticism of style and design known as ‘Post-Modern Architecture’. By analogy, I believe we have entered the
era of Post-Modern Economics, an era without a generally accepted dogma, an era
in which we must begin a long trek for economic truth and understanding, and
In this paper I outline, with special reference to
Each art activity is intimately interrelated. The amateur arts, in actualising the
talents and abilities of the individual citizen, provide an educated audience
and initial training for the fine and the commercial arts. The fine arts, in the pursuit of artistic
excellence as an end in and of itself, provide research and development for the
commercial arts. The commercial
arts, in the pursuit of profit, provide the means to market and distribute the
best of the amateur and the fine arts to an audience large enough and in a form
suited to earn a profit. Collectively, these three make up the
arts industry including advertising, broadcasting, motion pictures, the
performing and visual arts, publishing, sound, and video recording. Compared with manufacturing industries,
the Canadian arts industry in 1982 was the largest with full-time employment of
more than 234,280; the 6th largest with salaries and wages of $2.8 billion; and
the 9th largest with revenue of $8.5 billion or 2.5% of Gross National
Product (Research & Evaluation, August 1985).
Research conducted around the world has identified three
fundamental demographic changes that are transforming the economy, and which are
contributing to an enormous growth in the arts audience. These changes are rising levels of
education, increasing participation of women, and ageing of the population
The average level of education has risen dramatically in
the last generation. In 1961,
approximately 11% of adult Canadians had some post-secondary education compared
with almost one-third in 1985. By
the end of this century, it is projected to be almost 40%.
Within the labour force, i.e., taxpayers, the average
level of education is forecast to grow even faster. Between 1977 and the year 2000, members
of the labour force with at least some post-secondary education will double from
3.4 million, or 32% of the labour force, to 6.7 million, or 45% of the Canadian
labour force (Research & Evaluation, August 1985, 2).
Studies conducted around the world, and across
The impact of rising levels of education can also be
seen in the growth rate in participation in alternative leisure time activities.
Between 1977 and 1985 the adult
population grew at an average annual rate of 1.6%. Participation in arts-related activities
grew significantly faster, in fact significantly faster than all other
leisure-time activities. Attendance
at museums and art galleries grew at an average annual rate of 2.6%; use of
libraries at 2.4%; and attendance at live theatre at an average annual rate of
2.1%. On the other hand, attendance
at sports events increased at an average annual rate of 1.3%, and television
viewing at 1.4% (Research & Evaluation, August 1985, 3). Through to the year 2000, growth in arts
participation will continue to exceed growth in both the adult population, and
alternative leisure activities.
The second significant demographic trend during the last
generation has been the entry of women into the economic and political life of
the community. This has had a
dramatic impact on family structure and employment patterns. In 1971, one household in three was the
traditional one in which the wife stayed home with the children; by 1981 only
one household in five fitted this description. It is expected that the 1986 Census will
have shown a further substantial decline. By 1985, more than 70% of Canadians were
employed in the service sector. This represented a 31% increase in
service jobs in a decade. There was
virtually no employment growth in manufacturing during the same period. The growth in service sector employment
contributed to the increasing participation of women in the work force, which
rose from 42% in 1973 to 54% in 1985 and is forecast to reach 57% by 1995
(Anderson, 1986, B2).
involved in, arts and creative activity in childhood than men, thus forming an adult taste for the arts. In
Accordingly, the domed sports stadiums being built
around the country today appeal to a part of the population which, at least in
relative terms, is of declining political and economic importance, i.e., young
males. It is opera houses,
galleries, and other cultural facilities which should form the basis of the
political ‘edifice complex’ if politicians wish to appeal to the increasingly
important women’s constituency. The
increasing role of women in the economy and politics will, I believe, in and of
itself, lead to increasing political and economic recognition of arts and
It is widely known that the demographic structure of
Western countries is being fundamentally altered by the ageing of the ‘baby
boom’ generation. In fact, by 1996,
nearly 8 million Canadians will be over 50 years of age, and this age bracket
will represent 28% of the population, up from 22% in 1976. The over-65 age group will account for
13% of Canadians in 1996 compared to 9% in 1976. There will also be a 7% decline in the
number of people under 35 (Anderson, June 19, 1986, B2).
It is not generally recognised, however, that after
education and sex, age is the best demographic indicator of participation in
most arts-related activities. The
older one grows the more likely one is to participate in arts-related
activities, at least up to retirement age (McCaughey, 1984, 6). If compulsory retirement at age 65 is
abolished and the work week continues to decline, then older members of our
society will have even more time and financial means to participate in
arts-related activities. This trend
will, of course, be reinforced as the highly educated baby-boom generation of
the 1950s and 1960s becomes the ‘geriatric boom’ after the year
In summary, three fundamental changes in the profile of
population - increasing levels of education, increasing
participation of women, and ageing of the population - are all contributing to a
change in the nature and pattern of the economy, including a rapid increase in
participation in arts-related activities.
These three fundamental demographic changes are also
having a dramatic impact on the nature and pattern of consumption in the general
economy, which, in turn, has a relationship with the arts. Demographic changes are altering consumption
habits of the population, and the marketing behaviour of producers in five ways.
First, there is the emergence of the ‘narrowcast’ as opposed to the
‘mass’ market. Second, there is the growing importance of
design in the sale of goods and services. Third, there is the changing nature of
advertising. Fourth, there is the
increasing role of the arts in consumer research. Fifth, there is now near universal access to
the fashions and styles of previous historical periods, a phenomenon which has
been called the ‘Re-Decade’ (Shale, March 1986).
The emergence of the ‘narrowcast’ market is the most
significant marketing development of the 1970s and 1980s. The growth of numerically small, but
economically viable markets has resulted from an unprecedented average level of
education, an unparalleled division and specialisation of labour, and an
unrivalled degree of urbanisation. If the industrial revolution produced
standardisation throughout society, then what Alvin Toffier has called the
‘Third Wave’ is reversing the process. There is a rising level of diversity, a
‘de-massification’ of the marketplace with more sizes, models and styles, a
‘de-massification’ of tastes, political views and values (Toffier, 1979).
Fragmentation of the ‘mass market’ which dominated the
post-war economy has had significant implications for producers, implications
which were driven home by two recent recessions with their stranglehold on
consumer spending. This forced producers
to try to understand what made the domestic market tick. They soon discovered that demographic and
lifestyle changes had delivered a death blow to mass marketing and brand
loyalty. A North American economy that
once shared homogeneous buying tastes had been splintered into many different
consumer groups - each with special and differing needs and interests
(Business Week, November 21, 1983).
the same to European broadcasting in this decade. It is from this development that the term
narrowcasting has been derived. Second, there has been the emergence of a new
class of consumer, the ‘Yuppies’, i.e., young, upwardly mobile professionals.
This group is attracting the attention of both producers and politicians
July 2, 1984, 52-62). In essence,
the Yuppie is a consumer with a high level of education and income who demands
high quality, sophisticated, and often unique or specialised goods and services.
It is also the Yuppies with whom we can identify the rapid increase in
arts participation during the last generation.
And it is also the arts which serve as the historical
leitmotif for the general market trend towards differentiation in
consumer taste. Examples of highly
differentiated taste in the fine arts can be seen in alternative styles of
painting such as impressionist vs. expressionist vs. realist
vs. abstract vs. conceptual vs. minimalist painting. What is a prize to one collector is valueless
to another. Manufacturers and other
producers are learning from the experience of the fine arts to succeed in the
narrowcast marketplace. As noted by former CBS president, Frank Stanton
the essential values of the public are most clearly
evident, and in some instances only, in the arts - in music, the drama and the
dance, in architecture and design and in the literature of the times. It is through knowledge of peoples’ values
that corporate marketers know what goods and services to provide and how to
motivate consumers to buy their products (Seliner, 1982).
In both the
buyer of European imports benefits from the high
standards which careful European shoppers’ finicky demand imposes on their
producers; he does not have to be a careful shopper himself. In other words, he can be what is known as a
free rider, enjoying the benefits of other people’s careful shopping without
paying his share of the cost, in terms of time and effort, that careful and
aggressive shopping involves. That explains why producers find it
unprofitable to cater to his demand by trying to out-compete high-quality
imports, despite the often exorbitant price they fetch. Consumers seem willing to pay a high price, in
terms of money, for the reputation of European imports; that is we pay
cash to obtain high quality without having to pay for it in terms of careful
shopping (Scitovsky, 1976, 178).
When the design advantage of European producers, and increasingly that of Japanese producers of consumer electronics, is combined with the wage advantage of offshore or
The importance of enhanced design is beginning to become
apparent to some major North American corporations including SCM, Teledyne,
Black & Decker, and J. C. Penney. This change reflects a ‘bottom-line’ awareness
that if a consumer does not like the way a product looks, then he or she may
never get close enough to find out how well it performs, and therefore there is
no chance for a sale. Growing awareness of the basic principle is
resulting in increased recognition of the importance of industrial design and
the role it plays in helping companies meet sales and marketing goals. More and more marketers are now enlisting the
aid of design consulting companies or setting up their own in-house design
departments (Skolnik, October 1985, 46).
From where do design skills come? They come from the arts. Quoting again from the MacDonald Royal
There is, then, another aspect to culture, namely good taste, good design and creative innovation, that should enable smaller industrial economies to compete effectively in the world economy... In this endeavour, higher quality implies an organic relationship between business and engineering, on the one hand, and design and craftsmanship, on the other… High-quality products, technologies, plants, homes, cities and locales require the presence of creative artists of all kinds. To increase the long-run supply of artists... governments must support the artists and the arts. The long-term return from investment in artists and the arts is real and substantial. In the absence of strong public support of this sector,
It is generally forgotten that within the ecology of
capitalist realism, advertising is the lubricant of the market economy. And
advertising, to a great extent, is the application of the literary, media,
performing and visual arts to selling goods and services.
Actors, dancers, singers, musicians, graphic artists, copy writers, and editors are employed to sell everything from fruit to nuts; from cars to computers; from beer to toilet paper. In fact, the production cost of a one minute commercial on national American television equals or exceeds the cost of an hour-long episode of
From where does advertising talent and technique come?
From the arts. Thus with respect to design and advertising,
the arts can be considered analogous to research and development in the physical
sciences. The arts in the Post-Modern
Economy are no longer just a symbol, but also a source of national wealth.
The fine arts also play an increasingly direct role in the advertising
and marketing strategies of corporations. The
‘up-scale’ nature of the arts audience, i.e., high levels of education and
income, is an attractive market for many corporations. Corporations increasingly sponsor fine arts
activities, not as charity but as a major marketing technique. In this regard a recent survey by the
Institute of Donations and Public Affairs Research (IDPAR) showed that 47% of
corporations sponsored sports events, but 59% sponsored arts-related activities
in 1984 (Hopkinson, November 1985, 61).
Sponsorship reflects the correspondence of a corporate
target market and the arts audience. Sponsorships are made from public relations,
not from donations budgets. Problems have, however, been reported.
Specifically, the control required by
commercial sponsors to insure that public relations objectives are achieved,
may, from time to time, clash with the artistic objectives of an arts
organisation. No dollar figures are
currently available concerning the scale of corporate sponsorship of
arts-related events and activities.
Beyond the role of the arts in advertising and
marketing, trends in consumer research also suggests that the arts are playing
an increasingly significant role in consumer research. Many researchers have begun to question the
dominance of the information processing model in consumer research. This model essentially views consumer
behaviour as a question of a consumer with a problem searching for information
concerning the best product or service to solve his or her problem. This model, however, is increasingly seen as
neglecting important consumption phenomena such as playful leisure activities,
sensory pleasures, day dreams, aesthetic enjoyment, and emotional responses.
Thus consumption is increasingly seen as involving a flow of fantasies,
perspective regards consumption as a primarily subjective state of consciousness
with a variety of symbolic meanings, hedonic responses, and aesthetic criteria
(Holbrook, Hirschman, 1982).
Drawing upon the pioneering work of Holbrook at
Third, consumer research generally views buying
behaviour as a rational decision-making process that begins with a desired goal
leading to an assessment of the efficacy of alternative means which then leads
to the intentional act of buying a given product or service. By contrast, aesthetic experience fits an
arational paradigm of emotional reaction involving appreciative responses. Though emotions may occasionally be brought
under intentional self-control, they generally reflect nonintentional responses
to uncontrolled aspects of the environment. Such responses can be characterised as ‘being
moved’. Furthermore, an emotive response
involves not only a reaction to cognitive elements but also physiological
changes, expressive behaviour, and phenomenological feelings (Holbrook, 1986,
7). Fourth, conventional research
focuses on external factors affecting the exchange relationship such as price,
advertising, distribution, support services, and consumer demographics.
By contrast, consumer aesthetics focuses on design factors internal to
the product or event of interest such as tempo or complexity in visual design.
Fifth, traditional consumer research tends to use
field-survey research to study the link between brand choices to external
marketing variables such as price and packaging. For example, on the shelf of a grocery store
does red packaging sell better than blue? By contrast, aesthetic responses can best be
studied by techniques of laboratory experimentation, many of which were
developed by psychologists (Holbrook, 1986, 9). Finally, consumer research, as generally
practised, tends to view a product or service as consisting of a series of
distinct but additive components such as colour, weight, size, etc. By contrast,
aesthetics provide a fertile ground in which to study
interactive or configural phenomena. Artworks are universally regarded as
Gestalten in which all parts interact to produce a sense of organic
wholeness or unity-in-variety. Hence research on consumer aesthetics must
focus not just on additive cues, but also on the overall impact of a product
(Holbrook, 1986, 11).
Another change in consumption behaviour has resulted
from the introduction of new technologies in combination with demographic
change. Through new recording
technologies, especially video tape, consumers now have nearly universal visual
access to the styles and tastes of all historic periods, at least as presented
on television and in motion pictures. Does one want to watch the gangster movies or
musicals of 1930s? Or does one want to
witness the French Revolution or Moses on the mountain? Does one want to re-play it, time after time,
or erase it to capture the images and sounds of another time and place?
This access to the fashions and styles
of historic periods has produced what Thomas Shales has called as ‘The
Re-Decade’ (Shales, March 1986), a decade without a distinctive style of its
own; a decade characterised by the pervasive stylistic presence of all previous
periods of history. The impact of this
phenomenon on consumer behaviour is, at least in the short term, confusion and
disorientation. Time has now become a
significant dimension of consumer behaviour. As noted by Shales
It does seem obvious that here in the Re-Decade… the
possibilities for becoming disoriented in time are greater than they have ever
been before. And there’s another thing
that’s greater than it has ever been before: accessibility of our former selves,
of moving pictures of us and the world as we and it were five, ten, fifteen
years ago. No citizens of any other
century have ever been provided so many views of themselves as individuals or as
a society (Shales, March 1986, 72).
Interestingly, the art critic Robert Hughes, in his book
and television program entitled The Shock of the New (Hughes, 1984), has
pointed out that since the turn of the century modern abstract painting has been
increasingly concerned with the fourth dimension, Time, in contrast with the
traditional dimension of Space. Thus abstract painting can be viewed as a
precursor of the increasing disorientation in Time so characteristic of the
Re-Decade. What will be the long term
impact of the Re-Decade on consumer behaviour is not yet clear. It is likely, however, that there will be a
growing market for historic fashions, period piece furniture and other consumer
In summary, fundamental demographic changes, in
conjunction with new communications technologies, are transforming consumption
in the Post-Modern Economy. Consumption today is increasingly dominated by
a narrowcast marketplace in which
rising standards of design and advertising require
greater and greater inputs of artistic talent and technique. Similarly, consumer research is being
transformed as qualitative, aesthetic experience is recognised as a more and
more important feature of consumer behaviour. Finally, the time distorting impact of new
recording technologies is now making the styles and fashions of all previous
historical periods available to contemporary consumers.
Beyond traditional arguments concerning the intrinsic
value of the arts, education through the arts has at least three significant
impacts on the production-side of the Post-Modern Economy. These are promotion of invention, innovation
and diffusion of new technologies; development of new production skills; and
enhancing the productivity of an ageing work-force.
Education through the arts affects invention, innovation
and diffusion of new technologies by reinforcing the creative process, and
thereby encouraging an innovative institutional environment. It is increasingly recognised that the
psychology of the creative process is an area of commonality between the arts
and sciences (Meyer, 1974). In both,
creativity occurs when an individual steps beyond traditional ways of knowing
and doing and making. We have come to
recognise that the process which bring about creative advances in science is
identical to that involved in artistic creation (Jantsch, 1975, 18).
It is also recognised that creativity has an empirical
basis in neurophysiology. Recent
research in brain physiology suggests that the creative process is rooted in the
lateralisation of brain function. The left hemisphere is generally thought to be
primarily responsible for traditional cognitive activities relying on verbal
information, symbolic representation, sequential analysis, and on the ability to
be conscious and report what is going on. The right hemisphere, on the other hand,
functions without the individual being able to report verbally, and is more
concerned with pictorial, geometric, timeless and nonverbal information (Hansen,
In a sense, the arts can be considered the most
developed right-lobe sector of contemporary society. Education through art should serve to enhance
creativity, and balance the over-development of left-lobe nature of Western
society. In this regard, the noted
economist Geoffrey Vickers has said:
I welcome the recent findings of brain science to
support the common experience that we have two ‘styles of cognition’, the one
sensitive to causal, the other to contextual significance. I have no doubt that the cultural phase -
now closing - restricted our concept of human reason by
identifying it with the rational, and ignoring the intuitive function, and thus
failing to develop an epistemology which we badly need, and which is within our
reach - if we can overcome our cultural inhibitions (Vickers, 1977).
Education through the arts can foster and promote a
creative psychological and social climate in which invention, innovation and
diffusion of new technologies can more readily occur. It can sensitise entrepreneurs, managers and
employees to the context of change, and enhance their ability to respond to
change in a positive and constructive manner. In this regard, the need to increase the
innovative capacity of the Canadian economy has been recognised by the Economic
Council of Canada as critical to future growth and development (Economic
Since the introduction of universal compulsory education in
In terms of our education, the entire establishment has
been built on the assumptions of the left hemisphere and of visual space. This establishment does little to help the
transition to the electronic phase of simultaneous or acoustic man. Our educational procedures are still oriented
towards preparing people to cope with specific industrial products and
distribution of same. Electronic man, on
the other hand, is in need of training in… empathy and intuition. Logic is replaced by analogy, and
communications are being superseded by pattern recognition (McLuhan, 1978).
There are three indicators of the changing and growing
importance of education through the arts. First, over one-fifth of all continuing
education courses offered by American universities are in the fine arts, the
largest set of courses available in American continuing education (New York
Times, August 30, 1981, 6). Second, university recruitment by major
corporations is beginning to favour arts and humanities graduates in preference
Recruiters are finding that arts and humanities
graduates are more rounded in terms of social and communications skills and more
flexible in terms of career development than business administration graduates.
Third, there is a negative side to the emerging narrowcast economy. The concept of a ‘cultured person’ in the European tradition is one who is well ‘rounded’. The cultured European is one who is interested in, and knowledgeable about literature, painting, cuisine, dance, and theatre, not just about work. The
Education through the arts also has significant economic
implications for the rehabilitation and healing of an ageing and increasingly
infirm population. In fact, the
relationship between the arts and medicine is very ancient indeed. As noted by Granaat
Asklepios, the Greek god of health, was worshipped in temples, to which patients repaired to be cured. In the medical wards of these temples, beautiful votive reliefs are found, thanks offerings for received cures. In this connection, attention must be drawn to a series of frescoes made by Domenico di Bartolo in the 15th century in the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in
These examples of famous works of art illustrate the
close relations among religion, art, and medicine. The most famous physician of all times,
Hippocrates, said ‘Life is short, and art is long...’. Today, religion is not all-important as it was
formerly, but the link between art and medicine is still important (Granaat,
During the last 50 years, the use of the arts for
medical and rehabilitative purposes has been formalised in virtually every
artistic discipline including dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts. Academic programmes, certification procedures,
professional organisations, and international associations of art therapists
have evolved (Spencer, 1983, 2). National and international systems for
the classification of occupations now identify arts
therapy as a distinct profession (Research & Evaluation, January 1984).
The role of the arts in health care involves both
healing in the sense of facilitating recovery from illness, and rehabilitation
in the sense of improving physical function. However, the arts have a medicinal role beyond
physical healing and rehabilitation. As noted by Spencer
The term ‘healing’ implies illness as well as the
implication that something can be ‘cured’. In many human service settings, this is not
often the case, for example, among terminally ill cancer patients, inmates of
prisons, the physically handicapped, and those who are economically or socially
disadvantaged or isolated… such people are in ‘crises’, are ‘troubled’, and are
suffering psychologically and emotionally by virtue of their circumstances.
For such people, ‘healing’ is synonymous with ‘improvement’ with the
overcoming of psychological and emotional barriers within the individual and
with others… The art therapist goes still a step further sharply to ‘focus’ the
energies of the arts to help ‘dissolve’ the barriers to improved function
(Spencer, 1983, 3-4).
Within the health care system, the arts play a formal
therapeutic role. In view of the ageing
demographic profile of the population and the escalating health care costs
associated with an older workforce, it is likely that the therapeutic use of the
arts will increase dramatically in the next few decades. Society’s ability to keep an ageing workforce
active and productive will thus become more and more important as the baby boom
generation of the 1950s and 1960s becomes the geriatric boom after the year
2000. In this regard, Tibor Scitovsky
has noted that
Another important - and tragic - example of our
economy’s failure to provide adequate stimulation to the unskilled consumer is
the problem of the aged. When people
retire they are suddenly deprived of the stimulus satisfaction their work has
given them, and, naturally, they try to fall back on the other sources of
stimulation accessible to them. If they
are unskilled consumers, they soon find their sources of stimulation inadequate;
the result is the heartrending spectacle of elderly people trying desperately to
keep themselves busy and amused but not knowing how to do so.
Boredom seems inescapable, and boredom
is a great killer. That may well be part
of the explanation of the male’s relatively low life expectancy.
Women are better off in this regard, for
they have housework and cooking to keep them occupied and alive.
The remedy is culture. We must acquire the consumption skills that will give us access to society’s accumulated stock of past novelty and so enable us to supplement at will and almost without limit the currently available flow of novelty… Music, painting, literature, and history are the obvious examples (Scitovsky, 1976, 235).
In summary, education through art has implications
intrinsic worth of the arts. It has implications for promoting invention,
innovation, and diffusion of new technologies; developing the new production
skills required in a Post-Modern economy; reducing costs associated with
rehabilitation and healing, and improving the productivity and performance of an
ageing labour force after the year 2000.
In conclusion, we live in a period in which public
confidence in economic theory and practice has been shattered, and in which we
must begin again the search for a better understanding of the economic process.
At this time, three fundamental
demographic changes are contributing to the emergence of a Post-Modern Economy,
and are also contributing to an enormous growth in the arts audience. These changes are rising levels of education,
increasing participation of women, and ageing of the population.
In conjunction with new communications technologies
these demographic changes are transforming the nature of economic behaviour.
Consumption is increasingly dominated by
a narrow-cast marketplace in which rising standards of design and advertising
require greater and greater inputs of artistic talent and technique.
Similarly, consumer research is being
transformed as qualitative, aesthetic experience becomes a more important
feature of consumer behaviour, and as the time distorting impact of new
recording technologies makes the styles and fashions of previous historical
periods available to contemporary consumers.
In this changing economy, education through art also has
significant implications for the production-side of the Post-Modern Economy.
It promotes invention, innovation, and
diffusion of new technologies. It contributes to the development of the new
production skills required in a Post-Modern Economy. It enhances the productivity and
performance of an ageing labour force.
The founding father of economics, Adam Smith, had a
strong sense of the cultural matrix of economic phenomena (Boulding, 1972, 267).
One of the unasked questions of
intellectual history, however, is how mainstream economics in the West lost this
sense and became an abstract discipline devoid of any cultural context. It must be remembered, however, that what we
in the West have considered rational economic behaviour is, in fact, a form of
culturally determined behaviour. If we are to develop a better understanding of
economic phenomena in the emerging Post-Modern Economy, then we must again
account for the impact of culture on economic behaviour, and more specifically,
begin to appreciate the role of education through art in the emerging economy of
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SCITOVSKY, T. The Joyless Economy,
SHACKLE, G.L.S. The Years of High Theory: Invention and Tradition in Economic Thought, 1926—1939,
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SKOLNIK, R. The rise and rise of product design, Sales and Marketing Management,
SPENCER, M.J. The Healing Role of the Arts: A European Perspective, Rockefeller Foundation, NYC, May 1983.
TOFFLER, A. Toffler sees industrial breakup, Globe &Mail,
VICKERS, G. The weakness of western culture,
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