Cultural policy in France - Genesis of a public policy category by panniuniu


									   Cultural policy in France - Genesis of a public policy category

                           Vincent Dubois
                 Professor – Centre for European Political Sociology (GSPE)
   Extracts translated from La politique culturelle. Genèse d’une catégorie d’intervention
 publique, Paris, Belin, 1999, 381 p., by Cristina Fernandez, Jean-Yves Bart and Luc Vailler.

This paper is a partial translation of a book published in French, which puts forward a socio-historical
analysis of the relationships between cultural and political/bureaucratic field. This analysis sheds light
on the conditions of the emergence, shaping and institutionalisation of a State policy regarding culture
in France, from the late 19th to the 20th century. In this perspective, what is now called “cultural
policy” is considered as the product of the history of power struggles, wherein the main stakes are the
legitimate definition of culture and the definition of the legitimate functions of the State. The historical
comparison reveals that these power struggles have long hindered the shaping of a “cultural policy”,
which only took place starting in the early 1960s. It also shows that the persistence of these issues led
to an “institutionalisation of vagueness” of a policy whose object could still not be precisely defined
by the late 20th century. This research thus contributes to the history and sociology of the cultural field,
as well as of the State and State intervention. By analysing the conditions and limits of a State
definition of culture, it also sheds light on the modes of expression of the State’s symbolic violence.
The notion of category of public intervention developed used in the context of this research is
embedded in the elaboration of a broader framework of analysis, aiming to account for socio-historical
processes of institutionalisation of groups, relational structures, representations and constitutive
normative frameworks of what is called a policy.

Keywords: cultural policy, policy category, state, symbolic power, socio-history.

Résumé :
Ce texte est la traduction partielle d’un ouvrage paru en français. Celui-ci propose une analyse socio-
historique des rapports entre les champs culturel et politico-bureaucratique, qui met au jour les
conditions d’émergence, de mise en forme et d’institutionnalisation d’une politique d’État en matière
culturelle, de la fin du XIXe à la fin du XXe siècle en France. Dans cette perspective ce qu’on appelle
aujourd’hui « politique culturelle » est considéré comme le produit de l’histoire des rapports de force
dont les principaux enjeux sont la définition légitime de la culture et la définition des fonctions
légitimes de l’État. La comparaison historique révèle que ces rapports de force entravent durablement
la mise en forme d’une « politique culturelle », qui ne s’opère qu’à partir du début des années 1960.
Elle montre également que la persistance de ces enjeux conduit à l’institutionnalisation par le flou
d’une politique dont l’objet ne peut être précisément défini, encore à la fin du XXe siècle. Ce travail
apporte ainsi une contribution à l’histoire et la sociologie du champ culturel, de même qu’à celles de
l’État et de son intervention. En analysant les conditions et les limites d’une définition étatique de la
culture, il contribue aussi à rendre compte des modes d’exercice de la violence symbolique de l’État.
La notion de catégorie d’intervention publique forgée à l’occasion de ce travail s’inscrit dans
l’élaboration d’un cadre d’analyse plus vaste visant à rendre compte des processus socio-historiques
d’institutionnalisation des groupes, des structures relationnelles, des représentations et des cadres
normatifs constitutifs de ce qu’on appelle une politique.

Mots-clés : politique culturelle, catégorie d’intervention publique, Etat, pouvoir symbolique, socio-

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                                        1
                                                    GENERAL INTRODUCTION                      3

                                                            PART ONE
                                             AN IMPROBABLE CATEGORY

                                                    Chapter I - Culture versus the State     11

                                                    Chapter II - An impossible policy        12

                                 Chapter III - The repetition of an absence (1920 – 1958)    12

                                                            PART TWO
                                                         THE BIG SHIFT

                                                    Chapter IV - A Ministry for culture      16

                                         Chapter V - The contradictions of cultural planning 16

                                                        PART THREE
                                      BROADENING                 17

                          Chapter VI - A paradoxical professionalisation of cultural policies 20

                                                    Chapter VII - The state versus culture? 21

                                                    CONCLUSION                               22

                                                    An undefined yet successful category     22

                                                    From cultural policy to cultural practices24

                                                    TABLE OF CONTENTS (BOOK)                 27

                                                    NOTES                                    28

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                             2
   Cultural policy in France - Genesis of a public policy category

                           Vincent Dubois
                 Professor – Centre for European Political Sociology (GSPE)
   Extracts translated from La politique culturelle. Genèse d’une catégorie d’intervention
 publique, Paris, Belin, 1999, 381 p., by Cristina Fernandez, Jean-Yves Bart and Luc Vailler.

                                                    principle of legitimisation – the
         General introduction                       “democratisation of culture” that has
                                                    become a “categorical imperative”.
    Cultural policy – the existence of this              Cultural policy, then, should not be
public policy category seems to be self-            considered as a transhistorical category. Of
evident, on the same level as educational,          course, the intervention of the authorities
social or economic policies. Yet, it does           in artistic matters is a fairly ancient
not merely reflect the objective reality of         phenomenon.3 This long history does not
the problems tackled by the authorities.            however imply that there has always been
Like the environmental, family, consumer            such thing as a cultural policy. The genesis
or urban policies,1 it is linked to the social      of this policy is not limited to the origins of
classification that produced public action          the different forms of support for the arts
and that is produced by it in return. First of      by the authorities. It also consists of a
all, it consists in the classifying and             specific integration and ordering of these
shaping of objects and social problems,             multiple interventions as a whole that is
some of these objects being designated as           more than the sum of its individual
belonging to the “cultural” category rather         elements. Yet, we cannot understand this
than another one, and treated accordingly.          integration and ordering without first
This is the reason why – in the case of             taking into account the specific historical
French policy – a “cultural” vision of the          conditions of its emergence.
book industry or graffiti became
imperative, as opposed to an exclusively                Finally, the “cultural policy” category
economic perspective in the first case or an        cannot be transposed as such to every
exclusively repressive one in the second.2          institutional configuration. Apart from the
The classification and shaping of                   institutional organisation or the “styles” of
intervention practices give coherence and           public action, frequently studied in
meaning to a set of necessarily different           comparative approaches, 4 it is more
acts,    discourses,     expenditures      and      fundamentally the very definition of the
administrative practices. Indeed, what is           object of public policy which varies greatly
there in common between the subsidies               from one country to another.5 The German
granted to the street arts festival of Chalon-      Kulturpolitik, which has a long history,
sur-Saône, the Louvre’s renovations and             includes a set of artistic, educational,
the announcement of a law on public                 sports and leisure activities. 6 The Italian
readings? In fact, very little, except for the      policy of “cultural goods” largely overlaps
same “cultural” labelling in the distribution       with heritage protection and is distinct
of public acts and spending, as well as a           from the management of music and
common integration within the main public           theatres, dealt with by a Ministry of

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                                3
Tourism and Performing Arts. 7 “Public
support for the arts” – the expression                  “the multiplication of activities,
“cultural policy” being only lately and                areas and modes of intervention, the
hesitatingly used in Great Britain – has               heterogeneity of actions, the
only recently been extended to popular                 indifference,   powerlessness     or
entertainment      and      other   “cultural          hostility towards every form of
industries” to create a new whole.8 In the             rationalisation by the government
Netherlands, the Ministry created in 1982              regarding people and cultural
established links between cultural activities          matters, which would require the
that are heterogeneous according to French             promulgation of precise and clear
classifications: welfare, health and cultural          objectives, the organisation of
affairs.9 In other places, such as Québec or           priorities into a hierarchy, the
Belgium – focusing on western examples                 rigorous management of resources
only – cultural policy is essentially                  and the methodical assessments of
structured around the language issue.10 At             results”.12
the European level, culture is still not
organised as a category of Community
                                                        Looking for a precise definition of
action: it is only integrated in programmes
                                                    culture in official speeches and texts would
that are not specifically cultural and is the
                                                    be useless. At the local level and
object of programmes that are as of yet
                                                    specifically at the municipal level, the
weakly unified.11
                                                    autonomisation process started in the
                                                    1970s and steadily gained momentum
    This book aims to show how culture
                                                    throughout the next decade, but cultural
was shaped as a public policy category in
                                                    services are always endowed with other
France, where cultural policy is generally
                                                    responsibilities     (animation,    festivals,
considered as one of the oldest and most
                                                    education, etc.) and/or remain in
ambitious sectors of public policy. It is
                                                    competition in the management of culture,
often cited as a model – in a positive but
                                                    in which they do not always have a
sometimes also a negative way – in other
                                                    monopoly.13 At the national level, despite
countries, especially in Europe. Yet, even
                                                    the creation and the progressive
in the French example, the definition of
                                                    reinforcement of the ministry, culture
culture as a public policy category has
                                                    remains divided between numerous
limits, contradictions and oppositions. This
                                                    institutions. Among the main ones, we
category has indeed “succeeded”, if we
                                                    could mention the Ministry of Foreign
compare it to past attempts at structuring a
                                                    Affairs and the French Association for
policy field that were either more or less
                                                    Artistic Action (AFAA) for the diffusion
abandoned (who remembers leisure policy
                                                    of French culture abroad and international
in France today?) or failed almost
                                                    cultural exchanges, the Ministry of
immediately (the short-lived Ministries and
                                                    Education, especially for arts teaching at
policies “for the Quality of Life” in 1974
                                                    school, the Ministry of Higher Education
or “of Free Time” in the early 1980’s).
                                                    and Research, the Ministry of Youth and
Culture is objectivated in institutions and
                                                    Sports for popular education and
social roles, and forms one of the domains
                                                    associations, etc. 14 The changes in the
that are assessed when governments leave
                                                    Ministry’s attributions also show this
office. However, culture is not a clearly
                                                    uncertain      sectoral     division:     the
defined sector of public action. Pierre-
                                                    incorporation of public libraries, which
Michel Menger remarks that in comparison
                                                    were attached to the Ministry fifteen years
with other public policies, cultural policy is
                                                    after its establishment; architecture,
characterised by:
                                                    integrated at first and then moved to the
GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                               4
Ministry of Equipment before being                  satisfactory. By explaining the problem of
reintegrated into the Ministry of Culture in        the institutionalisation of this intervention
1996; or French language, whose general             through reference to the polysemy of the
Delegation left the Prime Minister’s                word culture, this type of interpretation
services the same year. It is an uncertain          forgets what the origin of this problem is,
division indeed for an area in which there          that is, the use of this word to talk about a
are internal differences, particularly at the       policy.
central level. Except for those dedicated to            It is rather to the genesis of this policy
general administration and cultural                 that we must look for the reasons of this
development structures, 15 the ten                  uncertain character. The analysis of this
departmental structures of the Ministry             genesis reveals that it took a “big shift”21
form as many relatively autonomous                  for culture to be constituted as a category
territories – the so-called sectoral                of public policy, and it is precisely from
directions16 – and are very different from          these specific conditions of emergence that
one another, even in their geographic               problems to define this category arise.
localisation.17 The very negative reactions
among civil servants and the professional               Let us first go back to the time of the
milieus affected by the fusion of music,            structuring of a social space of culture, as
dance and theatre into a large internal             we know it nowadays – the turn of the 19th
division of performing arts in 1998,                century.22 The affirmation of the autonomy
highlight       this      strong      internal      of this space not only led to an opposition
differentiation. 18 There is not only one           to economic reasonings – arts vs. money –
group of State agents but also numerous             but also to denounce anything that might
professions       and     more     or     less      be     perceived    as    government      or
institutionalised     university    curricula       bureaucratic fiat. The question of artistic
(librarians, curators, chartists, theatre           creation was then partly constructed
professionals, teachers, graduates of the           against the State. It was also at that time
National School of Administration (ENA),            that intellectuals who “went to the people”
etc.). There is neither a unified public body       to give them culture found in this
of experts nor a homogenous, stable group,          proselytism a way to organise themselves
clearly identified as the sole legitimate           as a group, by opposing an alternative to
interlocutor. 19 Cultural policy certainly          the traditional methods of political
forms a heterogeneous and vague nebula.             representation. 23 Relationships between
                                                    culture and the people were a second
    What are the logics and reasons behind          problem, which was central to the
this uncertainty? This question will guide          structuring of the cultural field, also
our analysis. In this case, there is more to it     constructed against the State and its
than the common uses of vagueness and               representatives by artists and intellectuals.
ambiguity      in    the     elaboration    of      The “freedom of art”, “art and the people”
compromises that make public policies.20            – these problems took center stage within
Forty years after the creation of a Ministry        larger social and political issues. The
of Cultural Affairs, and despite the huge           construction of an antagonism between the
body of scholarship that has tried to               arts and the State was cognitively linked to
understand public action for culture, we            the separation of the Church and the State
can no longer be satisfied with the usual           and gave artists an opportunity to take a
anthropomorphic interpretation of an                stand on the role of the State and the
indecisiveness linked to the “young age” of         principles of the Republican regime. The
this ministry. The lexical interpretation is        emerging debates on “people’s culture” –
also common although not more                       such as the ones that took place amongst

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                               5
the advocates of a “people’s theatre” –             hierarchization of artworks were linked to
were used by intellectuals as an                    public intervention if not determined by it.
opportunity to talk to the people, on its           Thus, in two or three decades, the
behalf and to express its vision of the             relationships between public organisations
social order and the ways to transform it.          (museums, purchasing funds) and private
Constructed against the State, these                operators (art dealers) had been reversed.
questions did not trigger much investment           The actions of public organisations
from public agents – ministers, authorities,        determined the activity and the choice of
and civil servants – who already had few            private operators, rather than ratifying the
resources to invest. Discredited in advance,        results of these as they had done before.26
they could not work and even less play a            Entire areas of cultural production only
role in this area. For a long period starting       existed through and for public intervention,
at the beginning of the Third Republic,             and the principles that governed them were
public intervention for culture was not very        defined in the adjustments between State
unified, institutionalised and, in fact, not        agents and artists. 27 Public policy for
very central. Admittedly, from the end of           culture created the emergence and the
the 19th century, a legal and institutional         development of new positions, in the now
framework for the cultural market was               closely intertwined worlds of “cultural
developed – with intellectual and artistic          professions” – animators, mediators,
property – as well as heritage protection.          administrators, cultural managers, etc. –
However, even though there were                     and public administration – directors of
divergences between different sectors (on           cultural affairs, graduates of the National
which we will subsequently elaborate),              School      of    Administration      (ENA)
cultural production was generally carried           specialised in the field, etc. There were
out without any public assistance. Artistic         increasing numbers of political speeches
production and the organisation into a              on culture and from the government to the
hierarchy of artworks mostly followed               municipal councils of big cities,
private considerations. The State did not           specifically “cultural” jobs created huge
purchase or order many artworks, and                investment from agents of the political
when it did, it was generally unconcerned           field.
with the renewal of aesthetic forms.24                  Once culture was instituted as a
    From the 1960s, with the establishment          category of public policy, the questions
of a Ministry of Cultural Affairs in 1959,          directed against the State at the turn of the
the creation of a “cultural development             century reappeared, but in the opposite
plan” or the expansion and specification of         way. Of course, the spectre of “official art”
cultural policies at the municipal level,           loomed, with references to the aesthetic
culture became firmly established as a              manipulations of Nazi Germany and the
category of public policy. State agents             Soviet Union - the threat was frequently
gained a new influence in the production of         brandished by the opponents of publicly
culture. Public institutions played a               commissioned       and    sanctioned      art.
dominant role in mechanisms of cultural             However, now that State agents were in
legitimisation. From this moment on,                charge of it, the issue of the arts and the
“recognition became intrinsically linked to         State was not really raised in terms of a
the State’s level of support. Artistic              binary opposition anymore, but rather as a
certification and public aid could no longer        way to assert the necessity of public
be dissociated”.25 What was true for theatre        intervention in the preservation of the
was also true for other areas, such as              autonomy of the artistic field. The question
sculpture. The art market and the                   of the “democratisation of culture” was no
mechanisms for the selection and                    longer the privilege of intellectuals

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                               6
opposed to the authorities’ institutions. It        denounce propaganda and cultural
now had its own experts appointed by the            technocracy, are an example of this
Ministry, who used this very Ministry to            resistance. There are many other possible
define a role of the State. They imagined           scenarios, but here is how Jean Dubuffet
and assessed public policy plans that were          illustrates it:
supposed to facilitate the democratisation
of culture. Nevertheless, the shift did not            “I know only one side to the State –
provide an answer to these questions. In               the side of the police. In my opinion,
public institutions of the central                     all the departments of State
administration or local authorities, or in             Ministries only have this side and I
debates in the media – they remained very              cannot imagine the Ministry of
contentious and opposed competing                      Culture in any other way than as the
visions of the social world, generalisations           police of culture, with its police
on the future of civilisation, the                     prefect and commissioner. This side,
distribution of power, or social cohesion.             for me, is highly hostile and
This is a first explanation to why cultural            repulsive”.28
policy stabilised in a vague and open form.
Historically, artists and intellectuals                  “The legitimacy of the competition of
directed cultural problems against the State        ideas, and the freedom that the State must
in an all-embracing manner. The                     respect with regard to cultural activities”29
establishment of culture as a State category        do not only shape the general principles of
reflected and reproduced the proliferating          liberal democracies. These ideas are placed
and fluctuating character of these pre-             at the centre of the relationships between
existing constructions.                             cultural production and the authorities, the
                                                    latter always being suspected of avoiding
     However, by limiting the analysis to           them, and always being expected to show
the question of historical roots, one would         that they update them. Kept under a close
fail to consider all the consequences of the        watch, public policy more generally stirs
huge shift in the treatment of culture.             up disputes about the definition of culture,
Indeed, this historical shift that made the         in which old exclusive prescribers, who are
State a place where culture was defined is          now in competition with State agents, deny
in itself at the origin of that vagueness that,     the State’s legitimacy. In fact, from the
in a sense, it requires. From culture against       radical critique of the 1960s denouncing
the State to the State producing culture –          the administration of a “bourgeois culture”
with the elaboration of a cultural policy, it       by a State paternalism to the neo-
is the monopoly of the right to talk about          conservative intellectuals of the 1980-
culture that is brought into play. By               1990’s combating a supposed relativism of
organising interventions and creating               the Ministry of Culture threatening “real
cultural institutions, State agents are             culture”, the question of the definition of
involved de facto in the definition of              culture has always been central in the
culture, taking away at the same time the           debates on cultural policy.
monopoly of talking about culture from                   Resistance, opposition, and opposing
those who – mostly artists and intellectuals        definitions: cultural policy has evolved
– successfully claimed this position in the         within this set of constraints, and from that
past. State intervention in the production          moment on has been created in a manner
and definition of culture therefore creates         characterized by denial and euphemism.
resistance and opposition. The numerous             The choice of public procedures highlights
warnings against growing State control on           this. With their commissions, councils and
culture and minds, which recurrently                expert consultations carried out by the

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                               7
cultural sector, they give numerous signs           culture” of “marginal” groups –
of dialogue and flexibility, proof of the           immigrants, “young people living in
State’s non-intervention. 30 It is probably         suburban areas” – in the 1980-1990s, the
within this insistent suspicion that it is          public treatment of culture is regularly
necessary to find the reasons for the               seen as way of representing different social
adoption, by the official creators of cultural      groups. This purely social dimension of
policy, of a “style” – “openness”,                  cultural policy does not seem as prevalent
“passion”, personalisation, etc. – that, in         today as in the past with the rather blunt
their     language,    dress     code     and       opposition of proletarian culture vs.
relationships they have with their                  bourgeois culture. It has not vanished,
interlocutors, differentiate them from the          however. Considering the political
rest of the public administration. Moreover,        imperative to produce a consensus and to
the incomplete definition of cultural policy        give a unanimous representation of the
could be the key element of this forced             social space, this inevitable embedding – to
mise en scène. The “vice” of administrative         borrow another notion from Karl Polanyi –
formalism is the homage paid to the                 of     cultural    policy     within     social
“virtue” of freedom and of the creative             relationships, does have an impact
drive of artists who readily transgress             regarding the possibilities to define a
limits and boundaries. The indecision and           policy of culture. It will inevitably raise
the vagueness of this policy are perhaps            important issues which are practically
therefore less the sign of its “weakness”           inextricable. This dilemma therefore
than the essential factor of its successful         generates avoidance techniques, notably
institutionalisation.                               the designation of an unreachable horizon.
                                                    This happened in Malraux’s times, with
     Here, we have solid foundations to             State cultural legitimism, when the social
answer the question of the consubstantial           dimension of culture was completely
vagueness of cultural policy. However, to           transformed into the myth of the people’s
be exhaustive, it is necessary to remember          communion in the admiration of the great
two characteristics that exclusively belong         works of art. It was thought to be the last
to the political treatment of cultural matters.     resort for civilisation. It is avoidance as
The first one comes from the special role           well, when you consider this public
played by cultural matters in distinction           cultural ecumenism that consists in binding
strategies of social groups and the                 together different definitions of culture –
diffusion of representations within the             from fine arts to ethnology – or through the
social space. The procedures that agents            refusal to choose between the promotion of
and social groups use to mobilise                   techno music, the protection of the French
instruments of culture in order to highlight        language and the restoration of Roman
their differences and to promote their own          chapels – running the risk of being accused
vision of the world are well known. It is           of wasting taxpayer money, relativism and
therefore not necessary to spend too much           demagogy.
time on them.31 It is nevertheless important            Finally, the state definition of culture is
to draw out all their consequences as               constituted as an issue that is all the more
regards the development of a cultural               potent and whose scope is all the more
policy. From the political celebration of a         general, because it creates contests in
popular culture in the 1950-1960s to the            which the protagonists found their position
promotion of “middle classes” through the           on a dual claim to talk about the social
organisation of their access to cultural            world and to embody universal values:
consumption in the 1960-1970s and to                intellectuals and artists, 32 State agents. 33
strategies of the “rehabilitation through           We thus understand the intensity and the

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                                8
general scope of the debates brought on by          the modes of political representation, the
the historical shift that makes the State a         respective place of the State and cultural
place where culture is defined. As at the           professionals in society or the relationships
turn of the century, the debates on culture         between “morals” and public action. This
and the State take place at the general level       profusion of discourses, their high level of
of the fundamental values that need to be           generality and their multiple implications
protected and of the social model that has          characterise the cultural policy to which
to be defined. We are no longer in the              they assign this quite distinctive place in
perspective of the affirmation of the               public policies. Their action contributes
autonomy of cultural production but rather,         greatly to blurring the borders of a policy
in the perspective of the definition of a           which becomes the battleground for the
cultural policy. One can cite the recurrent         confrontation of wider social and moral
attempts to give legitimacy to State                values.
cultural action. Consider for instance the              The impossibility of finding a
lyricism which, following the path of               definition of culture as a category of public
André Malraux or Jack Lang, Ministers of            intervention now has a more complete
Culture do not seem to want to abandon in           explanation. First, artists and intellectuals
their declarations. One can also recall the         have historically directed cultural problems
explicit production of a “major society             against the State in a globalising manner
debate” in the Plan commissions at the              that makes their contours unclear.
beginning of the 1960s, or within the               Secondly, the institution of culture as a
Conseil de développement culturel                   public category of intervention ratifies
(Council of Cultural Development) at the            these pre-existing constructions and their
beginning of the 1970s. Or one can recall           fluctuating character. Moreover, the very
the latest attempt, the establishment by            conditions of the shift prior to the
Catherine Trautmann, then Minister of               establishment of culture as a public policy
Culture, of a monitoring commission of the          category lead to euphemisations and
Front National’s elected members,                   avoidances that further dilute the borders
explicitly following the model of anti-             of this category. Framing such a policy
fascist monitoring committees of the 1930s.         requires at the same time that it be framed
These       attempts      demonstrate       a       in due form, that is, focusing on the
universalistic pretension of State agents to        absence of a restrictive definition of the
intervene in internal affairs of the cultural       cultural space, and the guarantee of
area, and are regularly denounced as such,          flexibility and adaptation to innovation in
in the manner of Eugène Ionesco’s                   relationships with this social space, which
humoristic injunctions, that the Ministry of        sees itself as a locus of perpetual
Culture content itself with being a                 movement. Finally, if we add to this the
“Ministry of Supplies” for artists. They are        strong embedding of cultural matters
also denounced in the alarmist prophetic            within      social     relationships,     the
tone of “liberals” observing the erosion of         protagonists’ pretension to debate on
the last protections of the “individual” and        culture and the State’s pretension to
“civil society” with the production of              embody the universal, we can understand
values and beliefs by the “cultural State”.         how cultural policies constitute this
Social agents who take a stand or mobilise          moving space criss-crossed by wider all-
against the authorities in power – political        embracing controversies. Culture, as a
opponents, artists or intellectuals – are not       public intervention category, which
to be outdone in the mobilisation of                represents a specific social area, can
universal     categories.    They     trigger       therefore only become stable through its
controversies around questions as vast as           structural vagueness.

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                              9
    To illustrate this point, we first need to      backward-looking ideology. They judge a
go back to that antagonism between culture          few isolated people and the beginning of
and the State, constructed at the turn of the       the Front Populaire period more positively
century and which hindered for a long time          but overall, their assessment is very
the possibility of a State cultural policy          negative.
(part I). We will thus be fully able to                  These accounts of the past, which
understand the consequences of the                  sometimes       directly    reproduce     the
reversal constituted by the establishment of        authorized comments of the time – that is,
culture as a State category, study its              of the agents of the cultural field – tell a
conditions of emergence and analyse its             story that is the complete opposite of an
effects. We will then look at the two major         epic: no heroes, no adventures and no
moments          of      cultural       policy      prophetic visions, just mediocrity, routine
institutionalisation. First, the beginning of       and narrow-mindedness. They are certainly
the 1960s, with the building of institutions        pervaded by retrospective judgments
(Ministry, Plan, etc.), the invention of a          enabled by subsequent developments in art
policy and the uncertain and controversial          history. Public action is accused of not
definition of its territory (part II). The          having benefited to the works of art that
second institutionalisation of cultural             turned out to be the most aesthetically
policy took place in the 1980s, when                significant – case in point, the long-lasting
public credits for culture reached an               neglect of impressionism in public
unprecedented level and when the cultural           purchases.34 The assessment of this failure
administration played a new role in the             came mostly from those who, from Jeanne
administrative area and in the regulation of        Laurent to André Malraux, worked to
the cultural area. However, neither the             implement a cultural policy and used the
rapid development of this policy, nor the           Third      and    Fourth     Republics     as
professionalisation that occurred at that           counterexamples in order to legitimise and
time put an end to the uncertainty of its           stress the innovation of their project. 35
definition and to the debates that it stirred       These negative epics have recently been
up. The renewal of the controversies with           revisited to provide a more balanced vision
regard to the notion of culture is a strong         of     that    period,    occasionally    for
reminder of this (part III).                        rehabilitation attempts with aesthetic and
                                                    political implications: erasing the suspicion
                                                    of academicism in order to free art history
                                                    from the shackles of the ‘terrorist”
            PART ONE                                supporters of modern art, 36 praising the
      An improbable category                        unfairly underrated prescience of the
                                                    authorities of the time in order to celebrate
     Culture and politics before
                                                    the “Republican model”37 or nostalgically
         “cultural policy”                          remembering the place that humanities,
                                                    literature or conventions were thought to
    Public policies in the cultural field are       have taken.38
said to have mostly failed before the 1960s,             We do not aim to denounce or
especially under the Third Republic.                rehabilitate anything or anyone, but merely
According to most critics, there was                to take another look at this history and
extremely little funding due to the absence         explain what diametrically opposed
of political backing, a heavily bureaucratic        retrospective judgements – absence of
and confusing organization, and a total             policy vs. “project”, ‘system” or
inability to support contemporary creation          Republican cultural “model” – both tend to
because of a dominant conservative,                 overlook: the historical constitution of

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                             10
functions and categories of the State (in                          Chapter I
this case cultural policy) and the weight of                 Culture versus the State
historical configurations in the generation
– or not – of these functions and categories.       If, during the “settling” years of the
In order to give an account of these                Republic, there were relationships of
historical constructions and configurations         proximity and mutual recognition between
from the turn of the 20th century to the end        intellectuals, artists and scholars on the one
of the 1950s, we have to point out the              hand, and politicians and civil servants on
conditions that made the formalisation of a         the other hand, a clearer separation
public policy on cultural matters                   gradually took shape and became
impossible. These conditions are first and          established in the 1890s.39 This separation,
foremost linked to the relationships                which leads us to consider the opposing
between the bureaucratic and the cultural           relationships between State and culture,
field. The founding period of the                   originates from the way cultural production
1890/1910s will be our starting point.              is structured. We will discuss these logics
Admittedly, at that time, the French state          of cultural production in this chapter – in
had little – financial and human –                  particular the controversies around visual
resources and State agents – notably MPs –          arts and theatre, these two areas being the
were concerned with limiting expenditures           main objects of public intervention for
and therefore limited the development of            what was then called “fine arts” (beaux-
public intervention. But there were other           arts), as well as key domains in the
aspects. The relationships between the              structuring of cultural debates. On some
bureaucratic and the cultural field were            level, the dismissal of public intervention
characterised by the autonomisation of the          and of the State in general by artists and
cultural production and diffusion fields,           intellectuals is a manifestation among
which had a number of effects: the                  others of the global opposition to
delimitation of the artistic field constructed      heteronomous principles that shapes and
in opposition with other fields likely to           maintains the autonomy of the fields of
impose their heteronomous principles, such          cultural production. But that is not all there
as economy or politics; then, with the              is to it. Indeed, this dismissal is even
figure of the intellectual, the affirmation of      stronger now that artists and intellectuals
a political function opposed to the practise        openly show ambitions that result in their
of official political functions (Chapter I).        being in competition with State agents.
State agents, placed in a delicate position,        Having progressively left behind the “art
internalised their illegitimacy to intervene        for art’s sake” retreat – a characteristic of
on     cultural    matters      –    somehow        the “heroic period” of autonomy, a lot of
objectivated in precarious institutions and         them become politically involved in the
positions (Chapter II). These conditions of         name of art and the values they claim to
impossibility started at the turn of the            embody with their art. The development of
century and have consistently been present          small journals is a good example. They
in the structure of the relationships               started out as organs of artistic schools
between the bureaucratic and the cultural           confined to aesthetic and esoteric
field and were reproduced until the                 discussions, and have gradually hosted
creation of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs        debates on society, politics, philosophy and
(Chapter III).                                      art. Another example is the rise of aesthetic
                                                    and political actions of artists and
                                                    intellectuals who aim at establishing new
                                                    relationships between art and the people.
                                                    The recurrent expressions of the rejection

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                              11
of the State are thus not only a tactical way       illegitimacy was also objectified in the
of preserving a recently gained autonomy;           precarious positions and institutions of the
they are also part of renewed relationships         fine arts. The civil servants and the
of competition between cultural producers           ministers’ roles were badly defined, as
and State agents. In the founding period of         budgetary and administrative organization
the turn of the century, it is in this              charts fluctuate. In fact, nothing
opposition to the State - necessary in order        materialised into a clearly unified “policy”.
to protect cultural producers from what             The incompetence of state agents in artistic
was now denounced as political                      matters, their illegitimacy to act in this
interference,     and    useful    for     the      field, and the representation of a natural
establishment of their position as                  opposition between art and the State can be
legitimate producers of discourses on the           analysed as “well-founded illusions” in the
social world aiming to represent what is            relationships between the areas of
universal - that cultural problems                  institutional policy and cultural production.
(conditions of the creation, shaping and            The uncertainty of intervention practises
objectives of cultural proselytism) have            and the instability of the institutional
been conceived and constructed.                     constructions and positions contribute to
                                                    create these well-grounded illusions.

               Chapter II
                                                                  Chapter III
           An impossible policy
                                                          The repetition of an absence
   “One needs more than a little
                                                                 (1920 – 1958)
   abnegation to accept the task of finding
   a few words to define the fine arts in               Established at the turn of the century,
   terms of political economy: finding              the conditions that prevented the shaping
   limits where there are none, trying to           of a policy on cultural matters remained in
   isolate operations of the human mind             the following decades. The relationships
   and nature that merge and overlap. Such          between cultural producers and State
   an activity is the consequence of the            agents were reproduced, under partially
   unfortunate spirit of specialisation that        different forms, but with identical effects:
   smothers us and brings us down, as the           the de-legitimisation of their “interference”,
   language of human knowledge becomes
                                                    the correlative weakness of their
   a heavier burden. The more we learn,
   the more we drift away from the divine
                                                    investments, and consequently, the
   perceptions of the unity of the world. We        indecisiveness of the institutional forms of
   need to classify our knowledge in a              public treatment of culture. The
   multitude of sciences, confine ourselves         competitions to represent the people and,
   to them, and being thus absorbed, our            in general, the struggles to express the
   eyes are distracted from the sublime             social world have also been reproduced in
   sight of the whole”.40                           the new efforts to bring culture to the
                                                    people and the debates that they stirred up.
    Constructed against the State, cultural         This has been revealed by the analysis of
issues only generated little investment             the collective mobilisations for culture – in
from its agents who, placed in a delicate           which most of the principles and methods
position, had internalised their illegitimacy       of the social treatment of cultural matters
to deal with such matters. MPs,                     were established until the 1960s – and the
governmental staff, and theorists of                relationships between these mobilisations
administration only play a forced and               and public institutions. In this case, those
uncertain     role.     This     internalised       relationships were ambivalent – and most

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                             12
of the time hostile – and did not help the              The emergence of a cultural policy
integration of these principles and                 cannot be seen as the answer to a
modalities of cultural action to the State          “problem”, the affirmation of a “political
institutions and policies. These State              will” or the acknowledgement of a “social
institutions and policies have remained             demand”. 41 The rationalist outline of the
weakly structured, and have been marked             institutional answer to a pre-existing
by a series of unfinished projects and failed       problem is a particularly inefficient
experiments.                                        explanation here, precisely because a
                                                    particular problem had not been identified.
                                                    We may think about the social inequalities
                                                    regarding access to culture, but they were
            PART TWO                                not particularly strongly denounced at the
            The Big Shift                           end of the 1950s and there was no
                                                    movement to demand that the government
   Origins and ambiguities of the
                                                    deal with the issue. They officially became
           cultural policy                          a problem that had to be solved because of
                                                    public intervention – they were not
                                                    perceived as such before. The “political
    A State policy of culture emerged at            will” thesis does not match what we know
the beginning of the Fifth Republic. A              about the direct conditions of the genesis
specific ministry was created, and policy           of this policy either. There were no
was produced and implemented in                     preliminary debates; the policy seems to be
institutions such as Maisons de la Culture          the result of politico-administrative
(Houses of Culture), in positions, political        improvisation where passing opportunities
or administrative roles (a minister, cultural       played a major role – see in particular the
managers) and in speeches and texts (the            conditions of the creation of the Ministry
decree of the ministry’s creation, numerous         of Cultural Affairs. Likewise, no
public statements, administrative reports,          mobilisation, no pressure, no “demand”,
etc.). All the different operators of the           even vaguely expressed, preceded the
objectivation of a policy were now                  emergence of the cultural policy. There
consolidated in a coherent system. After            was no public controversy, no appeals
years     of     rather     tentative   public      from cultural or political authorities, no
management of the so-called “fine arts”,            transactions between mobilised groups and
the authorities claimed they had a “cultural        high-ranking officials,42 like in the case of
mission” to perform and they formalised a           consumption 43 or environment, 44 precisely
“doctrine of action” (in their own words).          because there were no mobilised groups
From then on, within State institutions –           and no investment from high-ranking
ministry, Plan commissions – the issues of          officials in these matters.45 It seems more
freedom of creation, diffusion and even             useful to keep in mind the general socio-
definition of culture, which until then were        historical conditions that might have
treated outside the State and to some extent        supported this emergence than to look for
directed against the State, were discussed.         direct causes in vain. If, as we have tried to
In this second part, we will try to explain         show, the affirmation of the autonomy of
the modalities and the consequences of this         the cultural production fields, through the
shift, and show how the conditions in               systematic rejection of the heteronomous
which it occurred shaped the emergence of           principles it entails, was a condition that
the      cultural       policy      and    its      made the structuring of a State policy
institutionalisation.                               impossible, the opposite is probably also
                                                    true: The progressive crystallisation of

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                              13
these social areas has led to less                  political innovations. Then, if these general
consideration of the “dangers” that                 transformations appear as conditions of
threatened their – always relative –                possibility, there are missing links such as
autonomy after the “heroic” period of the           group mobilisations – organisations
“conquest”, 46 thus making possible, even           representing the middle class, artists, or
advisable, a public policy considered by            within the State administration – that might
artists as helpful, and not only as                 have linked them more clearly to the
interfering. Moreover, the increase of time         emergence of cultural policy.
spent within the educational system – over              Here, we chose to focus on the time or
longer periods, the increase of the relative        places where this policy was implemented,
importance of cultural capital within social        the agents who produced it, their practise
relationships, as well as the “rise of the          and the relationships in which they were
middle classes”, precisely characterised by         involved, as well as the concrete modalities
the importance of their cultural capital,47         of this emergence, which occurred from
are certainly involved in the construction          1959 and the beginning of the 1960s, i.e.
of cultural issues as political issues. This        during the “settling” period of the new
construction could be understood by taking          political order built around Charles de
into account and shaping the “aspirations”          Gaulle and codified in the 1958
created in these social transformations.            Constitution. During this key period, the
Along with these transformations, the               formalisation of the cultural policy and the
changing role of the State should also be           definition of a cultural authority were
considered, with the increase of its                shaped. 50 The terms of cultural policy,
different types of resources. The                   programme or planning were integrated to
emergence of a cultural policy could also           the politico-administrative terminology.
be considered as an expression among                The creation of a Ministry of Cultural
others of the general boom in State                 Affairs confirmed the idea that culture is a
intervention after the Second World War,            national prerogative and contributed to the
and particularly of the increasingly                progressive supremacy of the central level.
dominant role of the State in terms of              The leaders of the Ministry strove to give
“management of the symbolic” – the                  meaning and unity to the various actions
development of educational policies, the            developed within the Ministry and in its
mobilisation of State expertise or the              name. They marked their territory, notably
increase of governmental communication              by dissociating themselves from related
policies all attest to this. 48 The                 Ministry departments such as Youth and
materialisation and the development of a            Sports or Education. This was the first time
cultural policy took place within the               that the elements pertaining to a cultural
broader context of these processes of               policy were selected and gathered, that its
transformation of public policies.                  objectives were announced, and that the
    Crystallisation     of     the    cultural      legitimate modalities of its production
production area, development of schooling,          were defined.
growing role of the symbolic in public
action (and vice versa): these changes are              This first institutionalisation of cultural
essential, but cannot be seen as explaining         policy has to be understood within its
factors:49 first, because, unless we posit the      proper context: the arrival of the Gaullist
hypothesis of a “French exception” that             regime. 51 There are similarities, even
would have to be precisely defined, they            homologies, between the shaping of a
cannot enable us to explain why                     cultural policy in André Malraux’s time
comparable changes in other Western                 and the modalities of transformation of the
countries did not come with similar                 political regime. In both cases, a radical

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                               14
change was announced. The previous                  the sense that this newly formed public
system was highly depreciated, and a clean          action was among the elements that
break with the practises that characterised         symbolised the change of regime. This was,
that system – too many middlemen,                   in the general sense, the political
compromises – was proclaimed, to make               dimension of the cultural policy: it helped
way for a “national communion” renewed              symbolise and organise the modalities of
thanks to the establishment of a direct             the relationships with the people and the
relationship between the people and their           ways to exercise power that characterized
leader and between the public and great             the new political order established in 1958.
works. Just like the advent of the Fifth            Therefore, the advent of the cultural policy
republic, the shaping of the cultural policy        does not only entail the emergence of a
was characterized by the promotion, for             new ‘sector” of State intervention, it is also
modernity’s sake, of “rational” political           a new place for the elaboration and
practices partly based on technical skills          diffusion of the State’s representation of
and tools.52 With the new regime comes              the social space.
the redefinition of the criteria for political
skills: this is what shows, in particular, the          These conditions and the practices
emergence of technician ministers, as               related to them place the production of the
opposed to the existing parliamentary               cultural policy in a space of reference and
model. Of course, the Minister André                competition that is more “global” than
Malraux was certainly not one of these              ‘sectoral”.53 There is neither a profession
technicians. However, the invention of              nor a sector whose “misadjustments need
cultural policy involved attempts at                to be regulated”, 54 but the people in
rationalisation, as the important role of           general, a dimension thought to be
planning – and sociological expertise - in          essential to the “human condition”
the development of public cultural                  (culture), a “mission” (democratising its
programmes shows. Following paths partly            access) and through this, objectives that
similar to the advent of the Fifth Republic,        involve the protection of civilisation facing
the shaping of a cultural policy also               the “sex, money and death trinity”, in the
constituted a means to bring about political        Minister’s words. 55 This large reference
change. It acted as a symbolic marker,              space, with multiple implications, in which
displaying what analysts described at the           the producers of cultural policy – ministers,
time as the revival of the politique de             senior civil servants, planners – place it is
grandeur and also contributed to this               matched by multiple and far-reaching
revival: the relegation of past elites was          issues, from the redefinition of the
also relevant in the cultural area, and the         legitimate forms of political representation
contemplation of great works was also               to the new means of production and
supposed to favour the communion of the             diffusion of state visions of the social
people transformed into an audience. The            world via the competition over the
specific conditions and modalities of this          definition of culture. These issues and
genesis have had consequences on the way            competitions are all the more powerful as
cultural policy has been carried out in             the various categories of agents – local
France: they closely linked it to the               officials,    artists,   various     cultural
emergence of the Gaullist Republic, and             intermediaries – dispossessed or relegated
endowed it with a political aura that made          by the emergence of cultural policy,
it much more than the simple product of an          because of their exclusion, are eager to
administrative specialisation. Political in         polemicize the debates around the shaping
the partisan sense, indeed, with a strong           of this policy.
presence of Gaullist networks, but also in

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                             15
     Because it is the bone of contention of        the government and the cultural field,
heated struggles, the definition of the             within the political field, and between
object of state cultural policy is                  administrations. There was not much of a
characterized by denial and euphemisms,             preformed project, but there was an
and the principles and objectives assigned          opportunity to grasp, which was not done
to it are very broad and give it an uncertain       according to a programme but in a politico-
form. The “big shift” through which                 administrative “improvisation”. Despite
cultural problems built against the State           major uncertainties, this innovation, which
become problems of the State is bound up            even its promoters thought temporary and
with the more specifically political                fragmentary, progressively settled within
conditions of the advent of the Fifth               the bureaucratic field and little by little,
Republic. Thus, cultural policy, from its           deeply changed the terms of the
first institutionalization in the early 1960s,      culture/State relationship.
is much more vague and ambiguous that
most other so-called sectoral policies, as
case studies of the two main operators of                        Chapter V
this policy will show us: the creation of the       The contradictions of cultural planning
Ministry of Cultural Affairs (Chapter IV)
and the elaboration of cultural planning                From the organisation of the Sixth Plan
between 1960 and 1965 (Chapter V).                  in 1961, French planning started taking
                                                    cultural issues into account. The “Cultural
                                                    equipment       and      artistic  heritage”
              Chapter IV                            commissions and working groups that were
          A Ministry for culture                    developed during the elaboration of the
                                                    Fourth and Fifth Plans (which respectively
    The creation of a Ministry of Cultural          cover the years 1962-1965 and 1966-1970)
Affairs can be seen as a political coup             were at the time a key locus of production
taking the form of an institutional                 and legitimisation of cultural policy. This
innovation.56 It is possible to assume that         was made possible by the fact that the
this innovation was one of many tactical            Ministry of Cultural Affairs had very few
manoeuvres from the protagonists of the             resources – the Plan was able to provide
conflicts that led to the advent of the Fifth       assistance, to some extent, in terms of
Republic – precisely, among those that              credits, qualified staff and the constitution
played up the newfound grandeur of the              of a capital of information and expertise
State, and in particular of its new leader,         that was until then nonexistent. The Plan
thanks to the change of regime. This new            commissions allow for the accumulation of
ministry can be seen as the invention of a          the credit provided by its members, who
“new figure of the State-society                    very often have leading positions in their
relationship”, in Pierre Rosanvallon’s              respective areas. Expertise is combined
words, more than the result of one of the           with democratic consultation in the
three typical factors of the creation of a          production of a “doctrine” of cultural
ministry according to him: “administrative          action that largely contributes to the
logics of specialisation”, “management of           legitimisation of this new policy.
emergencies”       or    “requirements     of
clientelism”. It is however necessary to                As it was the locus of the production of
discuss the precise conditions and the              principles, objectives and limits of cultural
practical modalities of this invention: it          policy, cultural planning was a decisive
comes within a framework of multiple                operator of its objectivation. The Plan
relationships and competitions – between            commissions produced texts that set a

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                             16
general framework of intervention and               inevitably transformed the way culture was
scheduled measures and medium-term                  discussed: it was adjusted to the principles
expenditures. 58 The conditions of the              in use in the definition of public action, as
production of these texts – the formal rules        the systematic use of statistics and reliance
on planning and writing a report –                  on experts show. Furthermore, cultural
consolidated this task of objectivation,            commissions provide platforms for a very
which entailed a carefully argued                   general discourse on the social world that,
presentation of the action carried out,             beyond issues of cultural infrastructure,
making it visible and understandable:               defines legitimate ways of considering
current situation, issues to resolve,               social issues. There are two contradictory
objectives, resources. In this perspective,         aspects of cultural planning: On the one
the Plan commissions’ reports are more              hand, with the application of technical
elaborate and numerous than documents               procedures, the selection of agents
produced by the Ministry. Indeed, many              according to their presumed skills and the
important texts – due to their normative            importation of supposedly scientific
scope and diffusion – elaborated by the             systems of thought, it limits the group of
leaders of Cultural Affairs were precisely          the agents who are entitled to talk about
presented before the commission or one of           cultural policy and culture in general. On
its working groups. 59 The Plan reports,            the other hand, it triggers endless debates
more than mere administrative documents,            on the definition of culture, the role of the
were the main and most widely available             State, the desirable model of the society to
texts on cultural policy. They were                 come and therefore blurs the boundaries of
frequently mentioned in the press, and it           the policy that it is supposed to define.
was mostly on the basis of the Plan reports
that governmental cultural policy was
commented and discussed.60 They served
as a reference – admittedly sometimes a                       PART THREE
negative one – for anybody (local officials,             The institutionalisation of
intellectuals, civil servants, parliament
members, etc.) who wanted to have a say
on cultural policy issues.                            Professionalisation of cultural
     At the same time, the Plan’s cultural            action and cultural broadening
commissions framed the area of the public
agents who were authorized to produce this
policy.     This    area     organized     the          When Minister of Culture Jack Lang
intervention of new categories of agents in         took office in 1981, he declared: “twenty-
the treatment of cultural issues – senior           two years after its birth, it is time that this
civil servants, experts, sociologists – as          Ministry reach adulthood and be a
well as the exclusion of numerous                   complete Ministry, with a proper budget
categories of agents who, like artists, had         and administration”. 61 The period
little weight in the Plan’s institutions, even      following the arrival of the new majority in
though they played a major part in the              1981 seems to confirm this statement.
construction of cultural problems. The Plan,        Between 1981 and 1982, the Ministry’s
supposedly an institution of “consultation”,        budget unprecedently grew by 74% - a
also shaped the selection of State-approved         trend that continued over the following
agents who were entitled to intervene in            years. 62 The Ministry’s resources and,
cultural issues.                                    more generally, the resources of the public
     This recomposition of the group of             cultural institutions increased significantly
agents entitled to talk about culture               and drawing up cultural policies became a

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                               17
fully-fledged       administrative     and/or       accomplished in its name: cultural action,
professional task. The issues linked to             originally a product of political change,
them generated higher political efforts than        becomes a symbol of political change. One
ever before and were largely visible in the         remembers Jack Lang’s declarations
media. Culture therefore played a new role          announcing the ‘transition from darkness
within the political and administrative             to light” in 1981, referring to the first
fields. The opposite is also true. Public           actions and projects accomplished by the
finance in the survival of the arts is              new government – assistance to developing
essential. As part of local and national            countries, reduction of working hours,
cultural policies, new structures were              abolition of the death penalty – and stating
created (such as the Fonds régionaux d’art          that the government has forty Ministers of
contemporain, media libraries, etc.) while          Culture. Beyond this rhetoric, culture
others were developed or redefined (such            constituted de facto one of the means to
as museums), considerably broadening and            confront and contrast a past made out to be
transforming what was then known as the             weighed down by traditions, hierarchies,
cultural offer. In short, the Minister’s wish       uniformity, conservatism with a future full
came true as the Ministry and its cultural          of imagination, creativity, liberty, youth,
policy appeared to be reaching adulthood.           diversity and open-mindedness, to quote
    As with the first phase, this critical          some of words used at the time.69
second phase of cultural institutionalisation
as a category of public policy is linked to             In     this     new     step      towards
major political change. The following are a         institutionalising cultural policy, two
brief reminder of the intensity of these            phenomena – mutatis mutandis – similar to
bonds. The increase of cultural public offer        the ones observed in the previous period
and its promotion as an essential political         are again brought into play. While the
concern is linked to the social structure of        space of public agents who produced this
the new majority’s support base. Apart              policy is shrinking, the object of this policy
from intellectuals and artists, greatly             is expanding and becoming more
mobilised during François Mitterrand’s              fragmented.       Concerning      the     first
election campaign, 63 members of the                phenomenon, the development and
socialist party (PS) were also, to a larger         institutionalisation of cultural policies led
extent, active supporters. They were                to an exclusive redefinition of the
mainly recruited from the middle class              legitimate producers of these policies,
which had an important cultural capital and         starting from a professionalisation process.
benefited the most from public cultural             Specialised university curricula and
action.64 The “cultural” construction of the        degrees were created, downgrading in the
presidential       role      by      François       process both “cultural activists” and other
Mitterrand, his ties to the Minister of             volunteers. “Professional” references and
Culture 66 and, finally, the fact that the          rhetoric gained more and more importance
President had more political and media-             at the expense of the past experience of
friendly capital and titles which allowed           public agents, stigmatised as “ideological”
him to discuss culture 67 than his post-            and “naive”. Regarding the second
Malraux predecessors 68 also show the               phenomenon,             the          “cultural
relationship between political change and           democratisation” proselytism is combined
the development of cultural policy. These           with the strategies of rehabilitating hugely
relationships are explained by the fact that        diverse objects and practises, which until
public treatment of culture is a powerful           then were excluded.70 Cultural policy was
expression of political change that gives           no longer to be concerned only with
meaning      to      the    numerous     acts       traditional art forms but worked towards

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                               18
legitimising culturally “minor”, “popular”,         “offer” by cultural professionals and the
or “marginal” art forms such as rock music,         inability of elected officials to take
comic books, circus, photography, fashion,          responsibility for defining priorities. Just
industrial architecture, etc.                       like these policies, it is more the definition
                                                    of culture as a category of public policy
    The two major aspects of the cultural           that seems controlled by the “inflationist
policies      of    the    1980s      -    the      vicious circle” of the “cataloguing game”,
professionalisation of culture and the              which results from the specialisation of
broadening of the definition of the word            professional roles in this area. 73 The
“culture” – may seem contradictory but              expansion of public cultural intervention
they are, in reality, intertwined. In fact, if      linked     to    the      so-called   cultural
constituting cultural policies as a market in       rehabilitation policies not only comes from
which “professionals” compete leads to the          the conversion of administrative and
shrinking of the space of agents                    political leaders to cultural relativism or
empowered to intervene, then their                  the ethnographical definition of culture.
potential scope of action is also increased.        Above all, it was propelled by the rapid
First of all, following a classical process,71      development of the professions of cultural
the creation of a group of specialists comes        “mediators” or “administrators” and the
with the development of distinction                 relationships in which these agents were
strategies leading to more and more                 involved.74
differentiations between “cultural projects”.
In the words of one of the leading “cultural            This second defining moment of the
managers”, “everyone knows that the race            institutionalisation of culture as a category
for results and distinction began when              of public policy confirms and reinforces
economics and communication became an               the first stage of the process: it is a vague
integral part of the profession”.72 Then –          category that has been institutionalised
and this is directly linked to this race – the      only because of this vagueness. 75 The
competition between these specialists –             professionalisation of functions linked to
special assistants at the Ministry of Culture,      public cultural action is less characterised
managers of cultural institutions, local            by the clear definition of positions and
heads of Cultural Affairs, etc. –                   roles than by the increase of their
encouraged        them     to     look     for      attractiveness.       They        incorporate
“opportunities”, “gaps” and alliances, all of       heterogeneous forms of work status,
them becoming more numerous and varied,             recycling rather than excluding social
linking cultural action with tourism,               agents from diverse backgrounds and their
economical development, incorporating               accompanying principles and references.
cuisine or ethnographical heritage for the          This attractiveness is huge, given the
elderly or prisoners, etc. These strategies to      ability of the production of cultural
broaden the market were all the more                policies to enable access to positions of
efficient and unrestrained as no one –              “specialists of the general”. These
including political “decision-makers” –             positions articulate and merge the social
was in a position a priori to close the field       universes of culture, media, administration
belonging to culture by separating the              and politics and, with them, their
possibilities of public cultural policy. The        privileged modes of representation of the
local cultural policies analysed at the             social world, from the aesthetic field to
beginning of the 1980s by Erhard                    political engagement and communication
Friedberg and Philippe Urfalino “grew               techniques (Chapter VI). The extension of
more than they have been managed”. This             the “field of objects” (Foucault) of cultural
is due to the monopoly of the definition of         policy does not so much harden boundaries

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                              19
by filling the gaps as it maintains the             salvation”, cultural administrators are like
uncertainty of its limits and finalities.           magicians and prophets, acting according
Moreover, this “excrescence of Cultural             to their personal commitment, talents or
Affairs”76 again stirs up controversies on          charisma. 80 Voluntary functions have
the definition of culture instead of creating       become permanent and paid activities;
a relativist consensus. These controversies         specialised university curricula in culture
are all the more intense that they are in line      administration and management have
with larger competitions – mainly between           appeared; socialisation and representation
“intellectuals”       and        government         spaces such as specialised workshops have
representatives – for the definition of             been developed. Labels, norms, and
legitimate representations of the social            professional vocabulary have gradually
space and the pretension to embody                  taken over, changing the habits and,
universal values (Chapter VII).                     therefore, the style of public intervention.

                                                        However, this professionalisation takes
             Chapter VI                             on specific forms that only partially
  A paradoxical professionalisation of              correspond to the usual criteria used by the
           cultural policies                        sociology of professions.81 First of all, this
                                                    process does not rely on the more instituted
     The title of a “manifesto for a new            positions of public management of culture,
conception of cultural action” - Profession:        such as librarians and museum curators
cultural engineer77 - the title of a magazine       whose professions are more established,82
for “cultural administrators, mediators,            but promotes generalists who want to fulfil
managers” – Cultural Profession – or the            the criteria for professionalism. Secondly,
title of an article on the executives of the        it affects numerous public agents of
Ministry of Culture78 - “Culture: the rue de        varying status and position more than a
Valois professionals” are a few examples            specific body of agents, such as civil
of the significant professionalisation of           servants from local and national
cultural administration functions, which            administrations, heads of institutions and
was a major transformation during the               mediators with “on-site experience”.
1980s.79 Thanks to the increase of public           Finally, if this process is based on the
cultural budgets, the traditional positions         development of knowledge and specialised
of the cultural field (artists, authors, film-      skills – particularly with regard to
makers, etc.) benefited from conditions             administration and management – it is also
that favoured the permanent exercise and            about rhetorical affirmation and the effects
recognition       of    their      profession.      of belief. The frequent use of the words
Furthermore – and this is what shall be             “profession” and “professionalisation” by
examined in greater detail – the cultural           the people concerned testifies to this. The
mediators who form the heterogeneous                change in progress is due to objective
ensemble (administrators, heads of                  elements as well as the growing claim for
departments and institutions, animators,            professional identity by agents who often
etc.) of agents who base their position on          have poorly-established positions in
the drawing up of cultural policies and are         comparison to their counterparts in closely
located at the centre of their production,          related sectors of public action, such as the
assert their professional qualification – in        educational or social sectors.
both senses of the term – and then
contribute to it by modifying the praxis of             If this professionalisation bears the
public cultural action. Just as priests are         clear hallmark of the conspicuous
“members of an organised firm of                    manipulation of the external signs of

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                              20
professional status, it is still real in its        a definition of public cultural policy (in a
modes and consequences. By claiming a               sense, it has been the opposite), it has,
professional identity, the agents who have          however, affected its forms. The
the combined and non-codified functions             imposition of the professional reference as
of “mediation” or cultural administration           an all-encompassing imperative has de
contribute to the definition of a                   facto hugely transformed the content of
professional identity, incorporating a set of       national and local cultural policies.87 It is
positions, even if they remain objectively          more the area of possible actions that has
heterogeneous. As is often the case, this           been modified, especially in the attempt to
individually and collectively claimed               replace ideological principles and militant
professional identity is defined primarily in       imprecision with the “quality” and
opposition to various antagonists: the              ‘thoroughness” of professionals. This
amateur who does not comply with the                management-oriented evolution, tangible
requirements of “professional quality”; the         at the time in the cultural activities of both
“opportunistic” politician who neglects the         the private and the public sector88 - as in
rigour and coherence necessary for a “real          many other social realms and within public
cultural project” or the socio-cul, 83              administration in general – gives the
necessarily opposed to la culture exigeante         impression of a “depoliticised” public
(high culture) and reduced to pottery and           policy, where the political and the social
basket-weaving. By defining themselves as           can only be expressed in the terms of the
specialists of cultural administration, these       new rhetoric of professional neutrality. 89
agents create new paths: from theatre to a          Opposition no longer takes place between
municipal department of culture; from               elite and popular culture, but between
public cultural institutions to a Direction         productions of “good” or “bad” quality.
régionale des affaires culturelles; from the        The social inequalities regarding access to
Ministry of Culture to a public or private          culture are henceforth considered from the
cultural institution, etc. Envisioning and          perspective of “cultural communication”
presenting these successive positions as            and marketing techniques. In other words,
different positions in the same career, 84          this change in the perception of culture and
they map out a single professional world.           cultural action has only obscured the links
Finally, the claim for professionalism, if it       between social and cultural hierarchies,
affects the way the producers of cultural           thus contributing to the transformation of
policy see their posts, also transforms their       the forms of domination linked to the
practices: the progressive constitution of a        complication of social relationships due to
peer group leads to the establishment of            an increasingly elaborate differentiation of
norms 85 which, though rarely codified,             social spaces.90
must be respected. In times when
professional positions have yet to be
defined, and for those who have yet to fill                       Chapter VII
them, one understands that cultural                         The state versus culture?
administrators might have to over-invest in
conformity with the drawing-up of these                  One of the unexpected effects of the
professional standards, contributing to the         professionalisation       of        cultural
creation of a movement towards                      administration is its contribution, through
professionalisation and, in any case, to the        strategies of market expansion, to the
strengthening of its practical outcomes.86          extension of the domain covered by public
                                                    cultural policy. More than the boundaries
    Therefore,     while    this   specific         between public, private and social spaces,
professionalisation process did not lead to         it is the boundaries of “culture” that have

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                              21
become more uncertain. Public cultural              government, or in public administrations,
policy – initially based on a proselyte             often held precarious positions, and their
strategy of “democratising” the legitimate          practices remained rather unrecognized.
culture – was from then on composed of              Furthermore, the main cultural issues –
strategies of rehabilitation and explicitly         conditions of creation, relations between
became a means for cultural legitimisation          culture and people – were to a great extent
and for social legitimisation through               directed against the State, by artists and
culture.91 Just as “cultural inflation” makes       intellectuals who intended to embody
its object increasingly inaccessible, the           universal values through opposition to an
combination of these two strategies                 order established by the state.
complicates and obscures the objectives of                   It is only from the early 1960s
cultural policy. Moreover, the policy of            onwards that culture emerged as a state
cultural broadening faces huge obstacles            domain. Contrary to what had been done
that jeopardise the efficiency of these             until then, governmental institutions were
“magical” operations of adding value by             created and stabilized, as well as public
attaching a “cultural” tag. 92 The “state           positions, and a state cultural policy was
magic” clashes with the difficulty of State         established. The state slowly became a key
administrations to be accepted and                  element in the cultural field, and its agents
recognised as legitimate institutions of            actively – and often decisively – took part
cultural legitimisation. Thus, as well as the       in formulating related questions. The
restoration of cultural forms not recognised        genesis of culture as a field of public
as such until then, State relativism feeds          intervention marks a “big shift”, as cultural
controversies on the definition of culture,         matters, constructed against the state,
the authorities’ legitimacy to define it and,       became state matters.
finally, on the very foundations of cultural                 Cultural policy is a relatively stable
policy.                                             field of public intervention. However,
                                                    public intervention remains uncertain. It is
                                                    regularly called into question; its
                                                    foundations are complex, unclear and
               Conclusion                           unstable. It is a rather vague category,
                                                    unspecified (what is specific to it?) and
 “Is there an arts department in the human          above all undefined (what is its scope?).94
                                    brain?”         The analysis of the main stages of its
    - In the current state of knowledge, my         institutionalization proves it. And it is
              answer to the question is no.93       precisely because of the shift that marks its
                                                    birth that cultural policy is so undefined.
  An undefined yet successful category              As the social space of culture became
                                                    autonomous before public authorities
       It has not always been possible to           intervened, the latter must show respect
turn culture into a field of public policy.         and recognition of its autonomy, with, for
The assertion of an autonomous cultural             instance, a rejection of an “authoritarian”
production in the late 19th century delayed         definition of culture by the state, which
the appearance of a formalized policy in            leads to a skilfully maintained uncertainty
this area for a long time. The weak                 as to the scope of state cultural policy. “I
attempts at intervention from the public            had made quite a sensation when I declared
sector were denounced as contrary to the            at the Conseil des ministres that I was the
necessary separation of Art and State.              only minister who didn’t know what
Those who dealt with fine arts in the third         culture was”, writes André Malraux in Le
French Republic, whether in parliament,             Miroir des Limbes. To know that it is

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                               22
impossible to know and define “what                 the development of cultural equipment and
culture is” seems to be the first                   its integration in cities, Beaubourg being
requirement for a culture state official. The       the epitome of this idea. 95 This “de-
shift constituted by the birth of culture as a      sanctification” was to be carried out by
field of state intervention nonetheless             erasing distinctions between disciplines
revives the rivalry between artists and             and different moments of social life.
intellectuals and state agents, focused on          It was even more the case during what is
the problem of defining culture. Cultural           known as “the Lang years”, when cultural
policy can thus be seen as the opportunity          relativism ruled, though this relativism
for a public controversy and open                   itself should be put into perspective.
questioning.                                        Recent trends in French cultural policy,
         All of this goes to show that the          especially towards fighting exclusion and
undefined and scattered aspect of cultural          re-weaving       social    bonds,     are    a
policy, resulting from the circumstances of         confirmation of this characteristic of its
its birth, cannot be considered as the              history. Cultural policy producers often
failure or the limit of its institutionalisation;   present themselves as political and
this aspect is both the condition and the           bureaucratic managers of Antonin Artaud’s
consequence of institutionalisation. The            cultural programme of who protested in
lack of precision is really meant to make           The Theatre and its Double “against the
the participation of public authorities in the      widespread idea of culture as something
definition of culture less visible, and             separated, as if there was culture on one
therefore more acceptable. The best proof           side and life on the other side”.
thereof is probably the contradictory                        Besides      this    ideology      of
injunctions continuously addressed to the           decompartmentalization, there is a
producers of cultural policy ever since it          structuring and structural contradiction: the
became institutionalized: support a field of        assertion of the anti-institutional aspect of
intervention and avoid any kind of                  cultural policy institutions, and therefore of
classification; create institutions against         this policy itself. When the cultural policy
conservatism, which is inherent in all              characteristic of the new ministry was
institutions.                                       invented, institutions were created to fulfil
         In all the stages of its definition,       this “project”: the Houses of Culture. But
cultural policy has been de facto elaborated        little by little the very definition of these
in the name of an ideology of                       institutions contrasted them with already
decompartmentalization, the aim of which            existing institutions, and even with the
is to break up existing boundaries, be they         concept of institution. A House of Culture
vertical – between social categories – or           is, as one of its first managers puts it, “a
horizontal – between different areas. It was        machine against machines”. 96 This
the case in the early 1960s, when André             opposition regularly reappeared, as with
Malraux and the self-proclaimed pioneers            regional funds for contemporary art,
from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and           created in the early 1980s against the
the Plan rejected the social character of           concept of museum.97 Is it not the destiny
cultural hierarchies and practices in the           of the Ministry of Culture itself, as Jack
name of a new mission of the state – to             Lang said several times, to disappear once
make culture more accessible – and                  its goal – “to impulse cultural creation” -
worked on suppressing the classifications           has been achieved, and this administrative
set up by the Beaux-Arts. It was the case           structure has become useless or even
again, after this heroic stage, when there          counter-productive? Criticisms of the risks
was talk of “de-sanctifying” culture and            created by the cultural apparatus
bringing it into everyday life, and even into       mentioned by Jean-Claude Passeron are

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                              23
assimilated and repeated, not            only       It shows “the strength of this weak
rhetorically, in the very “apparatus”.              aggregate” and the power of attraction of
                                                    this category “that would have tended to
         Even though they were denied, the          weaken if it had been composed of clearly
appearance and the institutionalization of          separate units or if relationships between
culture as a field of public intervention did       the components of this heterogeneous
revive the controversies over the definition        aggregate had been explicitly ruled by
of culture and the legitimate relationship to       stable and transparent systems of
culture, which were all the more intense            evaluation and anticipation”.100
and wide-ranging as they confronted
agents in competition over the definition of
universality and who was entitled to                     From cultural policy to cultural
represent it. These conflicts and the                              practices
historical elements they convey – notably
the history of social habits of culture as a                 The object of this book is to show
vector of the representations of the social         how culture became institutionalized and
space and a bridge to universality- help            legitimized as a field of public intervention.
locate cultural policy and the definition of        The processes of legitimization and
its object at a crossroads of a myriad of           institutionalization fall within the double
conflicting issues. Cultural policy is the          framework of practices and representations.
field of both practical and symbolical              Our survey has been focused on the
interaction between numerous institutions,          practices and representations of cultural
social groups and areas, between artists            policy producers and their closest
and state agents, intellectuals and the lower       “constituency” of opponents or authorized
classes, those who possess cultural                 commentators, such as artists or cultural
legitimacy and politicians, the media and           professionals. The practices of social
civil servants… Cultural policy can also be         agents towards whom politics/policy and
seen as a crystallisation and a                     culture are normally directed, be they
symbolization of these interactions at a            called people, audience, non-audience,
given time in history. Therefore cultural           citizens, etc., were only approached
policy and the related issues can be                through the distorted vision of political and
considered as “more than topics, more than          cultural regulators. This analytic bias is
institutional elements, more than complex           linked to our construction of the object,
institutions”, as a social phenomenon               which is neither an assessment of cultural
which “represents all sorts of institutions at      policy nor an analysis of its reception in
the same time”. In other words, “a                  various social groups. The aim is to
complete social phenomenon”98 as Marcel             understand how cultural policy was
Mauss famously wrote.                               constructed and established as a policy.
         The preceding pages provide                This bias was also justified insofar as, as
numerous examples of this phenomenon,               often happens, the people, or audience, etc.,
from       André     Malraux’s      prophetic       to whom cultural policy is supposed to be
“attestations       charismatiques”,        or      directed, is very often absent from it, or
charismatic tokens, in the de Gaulle years,         has a very limited presence as something
to the rise of cultural careers in the 1980s,       else than an object and an instrument of
at      the    time     of     a     confused       conflict between those who pretend to
professionalisation, or the role Jack Lang          speak in its name. This research, through
played as the incarnation of governmental           an insight into the practices and
spirit. 99 The over-abundance of cultural           representations      of     specialists,    is
policy is not necessarily a sign of weakness.       nevertheless aimed at better understanding

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                             24
those of non-specialists. The preceding             What is exactly “to democratize”? What is
developments should be seen in this light.          to be “democratized”? Our aim is to
        The link between cultural policy            consider other ways of viewing this issue
and cultural practices is at first glance           and to go back more precisely to the object
obvious: politics should be a means to              of the book, which considers the
democratize practices. The assessment               internalization of state cultural categories
made from this point of view is quite               by non-specialists and relationships
simple and confirmed in many surveys,               between these categories and non-
especially those carried out under the              specialist practices.
patronage of the Ministry of Culture. The                     To paraphrase Marx, 103 one could
rise in “cultural supply” due to public             say that implementing a policy does not
intervention only had a limited impact on           only create an object for the subject, but
democratisation, defined as an increase in          also a subject for the object. Is the
the proportion of “practising recipients”.          invention of a new field of public action
Between 1973 and 1988, the proportion of            not accompanied by the definition of a new
French people visiting places of legitimate         domain of practices? Does the elaboration
culture did not move, while the number of           of cultural policy not create its own
these places increased steeply with the             recipient, and bring about the necessity of
development of public intervention. 101             practice? Does it not convey patterns of
Among the practices defined as cultural in          practices and of relationships to practices?
these investigations, the most immune               It is true that cultural practices existed long
from official cultural action, such as              before cultural policy appeared, but they
individual radio-listening or television-           were not necessarily regarded as part of the
watching, experienced the sharpest                  same category. With cultural policy, they
increases. Democratization also remains             are duly registered, classified and
low when defined as access to cultural              numbered.104 Defining this area of practice
practice (or consumption) for social groups         amounts to deciding that some practices
that were not culture users. The social             are cultural while others are not and to
origins of culture users have hardly                prescribing as well as describing.105 This
changed in the last thirty years. However,          categorization falls within the frame of
the development of cultural policy has              political and statistical representation, but
been a key factor in intensifying the               also institutional divisions, different
practices of groups that were socially              categories of agents, expected behaviour...
predisposed to practice, i.e. the middle            in short, the frame of practices.106 We can
class, increasingly integrated in the school        therefore say that by creating or facilitating
system.      Cultural     policy    is   the        cultural specialization and institutions
accomplishment of Flaubert’s programme,             specific to cultural matters, cultural policy
rather than Antonin Artaud’s. Flaubert              helped underscore, despite the apparent
urged “to bring culture to the bourgeois,           will      to    “decompartmentalize”,        the
rather than turn the people into the object         separation between “art” and “life”, as
of cultural proselytism”.102                        early 20th century artists and later Antonin
        While this approach can be useful –         Artaud used to say.
even when taking literally a policy whose                     Secondly, while everything points
main       legitimizing      principle     is       to      the    fact    that     reference     to
democratization – to consider the relations         “democratization” gave cultural policy,
between cultural policy and practices in            which is mainly confined to a policy of
such terms presents the risk of transposing         culture supply, a rallying cause rather than
to this analysis a political schema with all        precise modalities, we can also say that the
the ambiguities and issues it conveys.              success of the myth of cultural

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                                25
democratization yielded effects on                  culture. The aesthetic interpretation of
practices, if only because it contributed to        graffiti proposed in the above-mentioned
assert the need for practice. “To make              exhibition did not necessarily fit with the
culture available to all” is a ground concept       painters’ interpretation and how they
of cultural policy that could well be shifted.      wanted it to be viewed. “Rock policy”,
One could wonder whether the aim is not             which consists in fostering the assimilation
to make all citizens “available” to culture,        of technical savoir-faire and the integration
as     defined     by     the     agents    of      to a professional market, does not
“democratization”, and according to the             necessarily correspond with how this
modalities they prescribe. Regarding the            musical practice is considered, lived and
lower classes, to which “democratization”           practiced by those who devote themselves
is supposed to be chiefly directed,                 to it. The professionalisation of culture,
populiculteurs 107 always condemn self-             brought about by the cultural policy
exclusion and “it’s not for us” attitudes that      analyzed in the preceding pages, it is not
help set up the symbolic barriers shutting          without consequence on the relations to
out access to culture. The development of           practice. The split between professionals
cultural policy only had limited effect on          and amateurs that marked the birth of
widening access, but it made it possible            professionalisation,       which       public
and necessary. There has been a shift in the        intervention in culture had helped create,
feeling      of    cultural     unworthiness.       led to a devaluation of amateur practice,
Externalization towards practice (“it’s not         which is now hailed by cultural policy
for us”) has maybe given way to a feeling           producers. 109 The institutionalization of
of guilt for not practicing (“it’s made for us      cultural policy and the professionalisation
and we don’t take advantage of this                 of cultural activities are also linked with
opportunity”).          The         systematic      the decline of practice in collective
overestimation of cultural practices in             structures – clubs, associations, cultural
investigations – similar in that aspect to          movements – in which practices such as
underestimation of abstention in election           outings, visits, debates, participation to
surveys – or the fact that the people               programming, etc. were organized. One
surveyed feel they have to justify the low          can see a link between the kind of relation
level or the absence of practice, allow us to       to the public that slowly came to be the
posit this hypothesis.108                           norm in public intervention in culture –
        Lastly, some patterns of cultural           cultural marketing and the media tend to
practice and relationships to practice are          replace proselytism “in the field” – and the
prescribed, organized, and made more or             often regretted evolution of practices
less desirable and possible in public               towards attitudes described as passive,
cultural action. We need to rely on an as-          individualistic, and consumerist. If, as
of-yet unavailable social history of practice       Jean-Pierre Changeux writes, there is no
patterns that would show the role played            “arts” department in the human brain, the
by public agents in instilling legitimate           way this “department” is established in the
ways of practicing, in library, museum and          state – Durkheim’s “cerebral-spinal system
theatre regulations, for instance.                  in the social body” – could very well have
In the absence of studies, we will merely           an influence on the way we see culture and
give a few facts on the latest period. The          consider our own practices.
Ministry of Culture’s legitimizing of
marginal, minor, working-class, young
people-oriented practices took place at the
cost of a reshaping of these practices
according to the requirements of legitimate

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                             26
        Table of contents (Book)

INTRODUCTION                                           CHAPTER V: THE CONTRADICTIONS OF CULTURAL
PART ONE: AN IMPROBABLE CATEGORY                       A field of production of cultural policy
Culture and politics before “cultural policy”          The invention of cultural planning
                                                       Space of positions and the creation of a policy – a
CHAPTER I: CULTURE VERSUS THE STATE                    selective participation
Art and the State: the construction of an antagonism   The social conditions of the legitimisation of
The separation of the fine arts and the State          cultural policy
The production of a political incompetence             A scientific policy – statistics and cultural actions
Art and the people: the invention of a counter-        The conditions of a collaboration
policy                                                 A mobilisation for research – the Bourges
Pretenders against the official policy                 conference
A literary policy                                      Institutionalisation of science, institutionalisation
                                                       through science?
CHAPTER II: AN IMPOSSIBLE POLICY                       From the shaping of a policy to a public debate
The internalised illegitimacy of a monitored           The elaboration of a “doctrine” of cultural action
intervention                                           The existence and the boundaries of the cultural
A limited intervention                                 policy under review
A “delicate” topic                                     From discussion on boundaries to boundless
Incidental forms of justification                      discussion
An institutionalised illegitimacy within uncertain
state forms                                            PART THREE: THE INSTITUTIONALISATION OF
Aborted republicanisation attempts                     VAGUENESS
Institutional constructions and legitimacy deficit     Professionalisation of cultural action and cultural
Ill-established positions of the agents of fine arts   broadening
                                                       CHAPTER VI: A PARADOXICAL
(1920-1958)                                            A professionalisation policy
Cultural movements and public authorities              The conditions of professionalisation
Mobilisations for the people’s culture                 The policy of cultural work
The limits of a convergence – cultural movements       The emergence of a vocational training market
and the authorities                                    A policy of professionals?
in the beginning of the Popular Front                  Strategies of reconversion and uncertainty
Jeune France under the Vichy regime – a State          Social technologies of the administration of culture
movement against the State?
Peuple et Culture at the time of the Liberation        CHAPTER VII: THE STATE VERSUS CULTURE?
– Towards the production of a “public sector”?         The extension of a registered designation
Story of a not very institutional history              From the diffusion of rare goods to a certification
Appendix: When the State gets involved in theatre.     policy
                                                       A controversial attempt of cultural legitimisation
PART TWO: A BIG SHIFT                                  “Defence of culture” and criticism of the cultural
Origins and ambiguities of the cultural policy         policy

The conditions of innovation and their                 The success of a vague category
consequences                                           From policy to cultural practices
A political coup
The uncertain delimitation of a territory              NOTES
A policy of rupture
Installation and oppositions                           INDEX
A Ministry “like the others”?
An institution that produces debates

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                                          27
                                                        la culture ? L’Italie entre traumatisme, tutelle et
                                                        tentation”, Le Débat, May-August 1997, no. 95.
                                                          The Department of National Heritage and then the
  These are only a few examples that have been          Department for Culture, Media and Sports were
specifically analysed to highlight categorisation       successively created in 1992 and 1997. As in the
issues. See LASCOUMES Pierre, L’éco-pouvoir.            Italian case mentioned above, these innovations
Environnements et politiques, Paris, La Découverte,     have stirred up intense oppositions and were also
1994; LENOIR Rémi, “Politique familiale et              ridiculed for the unlikely pairings they created. The
construction sociale de la famille”, Revue française    Department for National Heritage was for instance
de science politique, vol. 41, no. 6, December 1991,    referred to as a “Joke Ministry”.
p. 781-807; PINTO Louis, “La gestion d’un label         9
                                                             WANGERMÉE Robert, “Tendances de
politique : la consommation”, Actes de la recherche     l’administration de la culture en Europe
en sciences sociales, no. 91-92, March 1992, p. 3-      occidentale”, Revue française d’administration
19; JOBERT Bruno, DAMAMME Dominique, “La                publique, no. 65, January-March 1993, p. 11-24.
politique de la ville ou l’injonction contradictoire    10
                                                           For a general and official presentation of cultural
en politique”, Revue française de science politique,    policy in Québec, see ARPIN Roland, Une
vol. 45, no. 1, February 1995, p. 3-30.                 politique de la culture et des arts, report for the
  See SUREL Yves, L’État et le livre. Les politiques    Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Québec, Québec,
publiques du livre en France (1957-1993), Paris,        Gouvernement du Québec, 1991.
L’Harmattan, 1997. The case of graffiti is studied in   11
                                                           See VAN CAMPENDHOUDT Luc, “Le marché
the last chapter of this book.                          unique contre la culture”, Liber, no. 31, June 1997,
   For a legal and institutional perspective, see       p. 12-14. Attempts of unification of a Community
MESNARD André-Hubert, L’action culturelle des           cultural policy are in progress, with the
pouvoirs publics, Paris, LGDJ, 1969 and Droit et        establishment of the unique “Culture 2000”
politique de la culture, Paris, PUF, 1990. For a        programme in 1998.
historical analysis, see POIRRIER Philippe,                MENGER Pierre-Michel, “L’État-providence et
Histoire des politiques culturelles de la France        la culture. Socialisation de la création, prosélytisme
contemporaine, Dijon, Bibliest, 1998 (1996).            et relativisme dans la politique culturelle publique”,
  Substantial centralisation and state control in       in CHAZEL François (ed.), Pratiques culturelles et
France but substantial decentralisation in Germany      politiques de la culture, Bordeaux, Maison des
and Italy, reference to the arm’s length principle      sciences de l’homme d’Aquitaine, 1987, p. 46. See
and use of a quango with the Arts Council in Great      also the similar comments of FRIEDBERG Erhard,
Britain, etc.                                           URFALINO Philippe, Le jeu du catalogue, Paris,
  See VESTHEIM Geir, “Instrumental Cultural             Documentation française, 1984; SAEZ Guy, “Les
Policy in Scandinavian Countries: A Critical            politiques de la culture” in LECA Jean, GRAWITZ
Historical Perspective”, European Journal of            Madeleine (ed.), Traité de Science Politique, Tome
Cultural Policy, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 57-71; GRAY          4, Paris, PUF, 1985, p. 387-422; SAEZ Guy, L’État,
Clive,     “Comparing        Cultural    Policy:    a   la ville, la culture, State thesis in political science
Reformulation”, European Journal of Cultural            Université Pierre Mendès-France, IEP Grenoble,
Policy, vol. 2, no. 2, 1996, p. 213-222. There are no   1993, p. 63 and following.
studies that provide an international comparison of        For a general overview on municipalities, See
cultural policies, only institutional summaries by      d’ANGELO Mario et al., Les politiques culturelles
countries, published by the UNESCO or the               des villes et leurs administrateurs, Paris,
Council of Europe.                                      Documentation française, 1989; URFALINO
   LABORIER Pascale, Culture et édification             Philippe, “La municipalisation de la culture” in
nationale en Allemagne. Genèse des politiques de        CHAZEL François (ed.), Pratiques culturelles et
la culture, doctoral thesis in political science, IEP   politiques de la culture, op. quoted p. 53-73;
Paris, 1996.                                            Cahiers de L’IHTP, “Les politiques culturelles
  The intense debates between the advocates and         municipales : éléments pour une approche
opponents to the establishment of a Ministry of         historique”, no. 16, September 1990; POIRRIER
Culture following the French model in Italy and the     Philippe et al., Jalons pour L’histoire des politiques
nickname given to this institution – minestrone, to     culturelles municipales, Paris, Documentation
emphasize the heterogeneity of its components,          française, 1995; DUBOIS Vincent (ed.), Politiques
similar to the ingredients of the Italian soup –        locales et enjeux culturels : les clochers d’une
clearly show the reluctances to imagine culture as a    querelle (XIXe-XXe siècles), Paris, Documentation
unified      field    of    public     action.    See   française, 1998. Information on departmental and
MONSAINGEON Guillaume, “Un ministère pour               regional levels can also be found in these two last

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                                          28
14                                                       22
   The Ministry of Culture was able to establish that       On the affirmation of the autonomy of the artistic
more than twenty ministries other than the Ministry      field at the end of the 19th century, see
of Culture contributed to “culture” State                BOURDIEU Pierre, Les règles de l’art, Genèse et
expenditures up to a total of 42.7% in 1984 and          structure du champ littéraire, Paris, Seuil, 1992.
55% in 1993. See Développement culturel, “Les               On the creation of the “intellectuals” group, see
dépenses culturelles des ministères en 1984”, no. 69,    CHARLE Christophe, Naissance des intellectuels,
March 1987; “Les dépenses culturelles des                Paris, Minuit, 1990. On intellectual mobilisations
ministères autres que le ministère de la Culture en      for culture, see RITAINE Evelyne, Les stratèges de
1993”, no. 116, March 1997. It is possible to            la culture, Paris, Presses FNSP, 1983.
consult the complete results of these budget studies,       MONNIER Gérard, Des Beaux-Arts aux arts
in Documentation française.                              plastiques, une histoire sociale de L’art, Besançon,
   Created at the beginning of the 1980s, the            La Manufacture, 1991.
Direction du développement culturel (Direction of           URFALINO Philippe, “Les politiques culturelles :
Cultural Development) was dissolved in 1986 and          mécénat caché et académies invisibles”, L’Année
then re-established in the more modest form of a         sociologique, vol. 39, 1989, p. 104.
Delegation for Development and Training. For                 For more information on these topics, see
information on the first period, see LION Bruno,         Raymonde Moulin’s works, which since the 1960s
“La prise en compte du développement culturel par        have helped to understand the scope of this change.
les institutions administratives”, Politix, May 1987,    The results in Le marché de la peinture en France,
p. 25-32.                                                Paris, Minuit, 1967 can be compared with the ones
   Directions of theatre, music and dance, archives,     presented 25 years later in L’artiste, L’institution et
heritage, edition, museums, Centre national de la        le marché, Paris, Flammarion, 1992.
cinématographie (CNC) (National Centre for                  It is the case in musical research, a key element
Cinematography), Délégation aux arts plastiques          of policies on contemporary music. See MENGER
(DAP) (Delegation for the Plastic Arts).                 Pierre-Michel, Le paradoxe du musicien. Le
   The central services of the Ministry of Culture       compositeur, le mélomane et l’Etat dans la société
are located in fifteen different sites (rue de Valois,   contemporaine, Paris, Flammarion, 1983; Les
avenue de l’Opéra, rue Saint-Dominique, rue Jean-        laboratoires de la création musicale, Paris,
Lantier, rue des Pyramides, etc.) Most of them           Flammarion, 1989. VEITL Anne, Politiques de la
should be gathered in one building. See                  musique contemporaine. Le compositeur, la
“Regroupement des services centraux du ministère         “recherche musicale” et l’Etat en France de 1958
de la Culture”, Lettre d’information du ministère de     à 1991, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1997.
la Culture, no. 402, December 21, 1995.                     DUBUFFET Jean, Asphyxiante culture, Paris,
   See Lettre d’information du ministère de la           Minuit, 1986 (1968), p. 11-12.
Culture, no. 19, December 3, 1997 and no. 32, July          URFALINO Philippe, “Les politiques culturelles :
1, 1998. For a good overview of these hostile            mécénat caché et académies invisibles”, art. cited p.
reactions – and more generally of the criticisms         82.
levelled against the actions of Catherine                   See for example about plastic arts and the Fonds
Trautmann’s Ministry regarding shows – consult           Régionaux d’Art Contemporain (Contemporary Art
the numerous articles published at the time in Le        Regional Collection): FOUR Pierre-Alain, “La
Monde newspaper about these reactions.                   compétence contre la démocratisation ? Création et
   See Pierre Lascoumes’s similar comments on            re-création     des     Fonds     Régionaux      d’Art
environment. LASCOUMES Pierre, L’Éco-pouvoir,            Contemporain”, Politix, no. 24, décembre 1993, p.
op. cit. p. 15-22.                                       95-114 and Intervention publique et art
    LINDBLOM Charles, The Intelligence of                contemporain : la création des Fonds Régionaux
Democracy, New York, Free Press, 1965, quoted in         d’Art Contemporain, leur insertion dans le monde
CROZIER Michel et FRIEDBERG Erhard,                      de L’art et leurs politiques d’acquisition, Thèse de
L’acteur et le système, Paris, Seuil, 1977, p. 311;      Science politique, IEP Paris, 1995; URFALINO
PAGE Benjamin, “The Theory of Political                  Philippe, VILKAS Catherine, Les Fonds régionaux
Ambiguity”, American Political Science Review, no.       d’art contemporain. La délégation du jugement
70, 1976, quoted in MARCH James G., Décisions            esthétique, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1995.
et organisations, Paris, Editions d’organisation,           See BOURDIEU Pierre, La distinction, Paris,
1991, p. 78.                                             Minuit, 1979.
21                                                       32
   POLANYI Karl, La Grande Transformation. Aux              PINTO Louis, “La vocation de l’universel ? La
origines politiques et économiques de notre temps,       représentation de l’intellectuel vers 1990”, Actes de
Paris, Gallimard, 1983 (1944). The preface of Louis      la recherche en sciences sociales, no. 55, 1984, p.
Dumont makes me prefer the phrase “big shift” to         23-32.
the original English title: The Great Transformation.

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                                           29
33                                                        46
   For information on the “monopolisation of the             See BOURDIEU Pierre, Les règles de L’art, op.
universal” by State agents, see BOURDIEU Pierre,          cit. For further reading on the reduction of the
La noblesse d’Etat, Paris, Minuit, 1989; “Esprits         vigilance threshold of artists regarding the risks for
d’État.     Genèse     et    structure    du    champ     their autonomy, see BOURDIEU Pierre, HAACKE
bureaucratique”, Actes de la recherche en sciences        Hans, Libre-échange, Paris, Seuil-Presses du réel,
sociales, no. 96-97, mars 1993, p. 65-85.                 1994.
   CABANNE Pierre, Le pouvoir culturel sous la Vè         47
                                                             See BOURDIEU Pierre, La distinction, op. cit.;
République, Paris, Olivier Orban, 1981.                   BOLTANSKI Luc, Les cadres, op. cit.
35                                                        48
    LAURENT JEANNE, La république et les                     For further reading, see NEVEU Érik, Une
Beaux-Arts, Paris, Julliard, 1955. See André              société de communication ?, Paris, Montchrestien,
Malraux’s main speeches in MALRAUX André,                 1994, p. 133 and following.
“Discours inédits”, Espoir, Revue de L’Institut              We are following the methodological approach
Charles de Gaulle, no. 2, janvier, 1973; La               consisting in not trying to find the “causes” at all
politique, la culture, Paris, Seuil, 1996; André          costs but rather focusing on the “activity of actors
Malraux ministre. Les Affaires culturelles au temps       thought through ‘structural’ contexts” formulated
d’André        Malraux,         1959-1969,       Paris,   by DOBRY Michel, Sociologie des crises
Documentation française, 1996.                            politiques. La dynamique des mobilisations
   VAISSE Pierre, La troisième République et les          multisectorielles, Paris, Presses FNSP, 1986.
peintres, Paris, Flammarion, 1995.                           The notions of institutionalisation, formalisation
   GENET-DELACROIX Marie-Claude, Art et État              and critical juncture are borrowed from LACROIX
sous la IIIè République. Le système des beaux-arts,       Bernard, LAGROYE Jacques (dir.), Le président de
1870-1940, Paris, Publications de la Sorbonne,            la République, Paris, Presses FNSP, 1992.
1992.                                                        For further reading, see GAITI Brigitte, De
   FUMAROLI Marc, L’État culturel. Essai sur une          Gaulle prophète de la cinquième République (1946-
religion moderne, Paris, de Fallois, 1991.                1962), Paris, Presses de sciences Po, 1998. Also
   CHARLE Christophe, Naissance des intellectuels,        useful on the developments following the arrival of
op. cit.                                                  the Fifth Republic.
40                                                        52
     AYNARD Édouard, “Les Beaux-Arts et                      See DULONG Delphine, Moderniser la politique.
l’économie politique”, in SAY Léon, CHAILLEY              Aux origines de la Ve République, Paris,
Joseph (ed.), Nouveau dictionnaire d’économie             L’Harmattan, 1997.
politique, Paris, Guillani, 1890.                              For further reading, see JOBERT Bruno,
   To quote the spontaneous interpretations of the        MULLER Pierre, L’État en action, op. cit.
apparition of a public policy. See MÉNY Yves,                To quote the terminology of MULLER Pierre,
THOENIG Jean-Claude, Politiques publiques, op.            Les politiques publiques, op. cit.
cit., p. 159-166.                                            For further reading on Malraux’s speech, see
  See the elements of the model genesis of a policy       MORIN Violette, “La culture majuscule : André
presented in BOURDIEU Pierre, CHRISTIN                    Malraux” Communications, n° 14, 1969, p. 70-83.
Rosine, “La construction du marché. Le champ                 For further reading on the notion of “coup”, see
administratif et la production de la “politique du        DOBRY Michel, Sociologie des crises politiques,
logement”, Actes de la recherche en sciences              op. cit., especially p. 21 and following.
sociales, n° 81-82, mars 1990, especially p. 66.             ROSANVALLON Pierre, L’État en France, op.
   PINTO Louis, “La gestion d’un label politique”,        cit.
art. cit.                                                      Rapport général de la commission de
    LASCOUMES Pierre, L’éco-pouvoir, op.cit.;             L’équipement culturel et du patrimoine artistique.
CHARVOLIN            Florian,       L’invention     de    IVe Plan, Paris, Imprimerie nationale, 1961;
L’environnement en France (1960-1971). Les                Rapport général de la commission de L’équipement
pratiques documentaires dagrégation, L’origine du         culturel et du patrimoine artistique, Ve Plan, Paris,
Ministère de la protection de la nature et de             Documentation française, 1966. During the
L’environnement, thesis in political science and          preparation of the Fifth Plan, the work group
sociology,     IEP      Grenoble-École       Nationale    reports were published as well.
Supérieure des mines de Paris 1993.                           e.g.: “L’action culturelle”, exposé de Pierre
    Except the lone article by Robert Briché              Moinot, loc. cit.; “L’action culturelle. Principes-
published in 1956, “Pour un ministère des Arts”           Réalisations-Projets”, document réalisé par Émile
(“For a ministry of the Arts”, art. cit. In a 1996        Biasini, directeur du Théâtre, de la musique et de
interview, the author declares that “Marcel Waline,       L’action culturelle, octobre 1962, Archives du
a law professor at the University of Paris, made          Département des études et de la prospective,
Michel Debré read the study, who really enjoyed it”.      ministère de la Culture. Unless mentioned, all the
                                                          non published sources originate from this fund.

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                                           30
    Here is a non-exhaustive list of articles            directeur de l’Administration générale du ministère
specifically dedicated to cultural planning: Le          (1992-1993).
Monde publishes in 1962 and 1965 a series of                 See PASSERON Jean-Claude, “Figures et
articles (18, 19, 20 October 1962, 28 May, 13            contestations de la culture...” art. cit.. Also see
August, 31 October, 13 November, 29 and 30               MENGER Pierre-Michel, “L’État-providence et la
December 1965). This book is especially dedicated        culture...”, art. cit.
to this topic: BENSAID Georges, La culture                  This process has been highlighted in BOURDIEU
planifiée ?, Paris, Seuil, 1969. An official             Pierre, Les règles de l’art, op. cit., especially p. 221.
presentation of “the cultural policy in France” is          DJIAN Jean-Michel, Profession Culture, n° 1,
almost entirely dedicated to the Plan: Cahiers           November 1992, editorial.
Français, n° 138-139, October-December 1969.                FRIEDBERG Erhard and URFALINO Philippe,
   Quoted in “Un bilan culturel du septennat. Les        Le jeu du catalogue, op. cit.
voix sacrées de la rue de Valois”, Le Monde, March          The link between “the broadening of the notion
3, 1988, p. 15.                                          of culture” and the strategies of professional
   “Le budget du ministère chargé des Affaires           recognition is suggested in URFALINO Philippe,
culturelles de 1960 à 1985”, Développement               “Les politiques culturelles : mécénnat caché et
culturel, October 1986, n° 67.                           académies invisibles”, art. cit.
63                                                       75
   PINTO Diana, “La gauche, les intellectuels et la         On the hypothesis of the “cohesion through
culture” in HOFFMAN Stanley, ROSS George,                vagueness” and the “strength of a weak aggregate”,
(ed.), L’expérience Mitterrand, Paris, PUF, 1988, p.     see BOLTANSKI Luc, Les cadres, op. cit. p. 474-
275-290.                                                 475, p. 480 and following.
64                                                       76
   For further reading, see SAWICKI Frédéric, Les           To quote the polemical title of FUMAROLI Marc,
réseaux du parti socialiste, Paris, Belin, 1997. On      “De Malraux à Lang, L’excroissance des Affaires
the intensification of cultural practises of the         culturelles”, Commentaire, vol. 5, n° 18, Summer
middle classes due to the development of public          1982, p. 247-259; vol 8, n° 30, Summer 1985.
cultural action, see PASSERON Jean-Claude,                   MOLLARD Claude, Profession : ingénieur
“Figures et contestations de la culture. Légitimité et   culturel, Paris, Charles Le Bouil, 1989 (1st edition
relativisme     naturel”    in    Le raisonnement        La Différence, 1987).
sociologique, op. cit., p. 291-314; DONAT Olivier,          From ROUX Émmanuel, SCHMIDT Olivier, Le
Les Français face à la culture, de L’exclusion à         Monde, December 31, 1993.
l’éclectisme, Paris, La Découverte, 1994.                   This chapter is about the transformations that
    See LEHINGUE Patrick, PUDAL Bernard,                 took place during the 1980s and their
“Retour(s) à l’expéditeur. Éléments pour la              manifestations as they were seen in 1994, when this
déconstruction d’un « coup » : la « Lettre à tous les    research was completed. The more recent inflexions
Français » de François Mitterrand, in La                 of these different processes are not taken into
communication politique, Paris, PUF-CURAPP,              account.
1991, p. 163-182, in particular p. 168.                     WEBER Max, Économie et société, volume 2,
    Regularly emphasised in the media, and               Paris, Plon, 1995 (1971), in particular p. 172-175
sometimes compared to those of de Gaulle and             and 190-203.
Malraux, especially in Alain Duhamel’s book on              These can be summarised as follows: “the
the two “big” presidents of the Fifth Republic.          existence of a theoretical knowledge and
   See the – mediocre – biographies of Jack Lang:        specialised training, the appreciation of the
DESNEUX Richard, Jack Lang, la culture en                competence of the profession’s members through
mouvement, Paris, Favre, 1990; HUNTER Mark,              formal examinations, the establishment of a
Les jours les plus longs, Paris, Odile Jacob, 1990/      professional organisation, the emergence of a
   From 1969 to 1981 Edmont Michelet (1969-              professional code, the provision of an altruistic
1970), André Bettencourt (1970-1971), Jacques            service”. PAICHELER Geneviève, L’invention de
Duhamel (1971-1973), Alain Peyrefitte (1974),            la psychologie moderne, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1992,
Michel Guy (1974-1975), Françoise Giroud (1976-          p. 42-55. See also CHAPOULIE Jean-Michel, “Sur
1977), Jean-Philippe Lecat (1978-1981).                  l’analyse sociologique des groupes professionnels”,
   See RENARD Jacques, L’élan culturel, Paris,           Revue française de sociologie, vol. XIV, n° 1, 1973,
PUF, 1987. Former student of the École Nationale         especially p. 89; MAURICE Marc, “Propos sur la
d’Administration (ENA), Jacques Renard has held          sociologie des professions”, Sociologie du travail,
different positions within the Ministry of Culture       n° 2, 1972, p. 213-225.
between 1975 and 1981, and in Jack Lang’s cabinet           For further reading on the librarian profession,
in 1982-1986 where he later became assistant             see SEIBEL Bernadette, Au nom du livre. Analyse
director (1988-1992) before being appointed              sociale d’une profession : les bibliothécaires, Paris,
                                                         Documentation          française,  1988      and      the

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                                             31
contributions of Isabelle Charpentier and Olivier                 PASSERON          Jean-Claude,     “Figures   et
Tacheau in DUBOIS Vincent (ed.), Politiques                 contestations de la culture”, art. cit.; MENGER
locales et enjeux culturels... op. cit. On curators, see    Pierre-Michel, “L’État-providence et la culture”, art.
OCTOBRE           Sylvie,      “Dilemme        de      la   cit.
professionalisation : le cas des conservateurs de               BOURDIEU Pierre, DELSAUT Yvette, “Le
musée”, communication au groupe de travail sur les          couturier et sa griffe : contribution à une théorie de
politiques locales, Comité d’histoire du ministère          la magie”, Actes de la recherche en sciences
de la Culture, 23 janvier 1998.                             sociales, n° 1, 1975, p. 7-36.
83                                                          93
   Derogatory term used from the early 1980s, short            CHANGEUX Jean-Pierre, Raison et plaisir, Paris,
for socio-cultural.                                         Odile Jacob, 1994, p.123
84                                                          94
   According to Everett Hughes, in HUGHES                       On the distinction between unspecified and
Everett C., “Institutional Office and the Person”,          undefined, see BOLTANSKI Luc, Les cadres,
American Journal of Sociology, 43 (3), 1937, p.             volume cited, p.482.
409-410.                                                       See PINTO Louis, “Déconstruire Beaubourg…”,
   Governing the scheduling of shows or exhibitions,        article cited.
the style given to projects by financial partners, the         For such an analysis, see URFALINO Philippe,
terminology used to present them and even the               L’invention de la politique culturelle, volume cited,
presentation of folders, documents, posters, etc.           in which Gabriel Monnet’s expression is quoted.
86                                                          97
   An ongoing criticism against the cultural effects           See the cited works of Pierre-Alain Four.
on development of public action in this area is, in            MAUSS Marcel, “Essai sur le don”; in Sociologie
fact, due to the standardisation and conformism that        et anthropologie, Paris, PUF, 1985, p.275 and 145
would have resulted.                                        respectively.
87                                                          99
   For further reading on a local illustration, see            One could also mention the role Philippe Douste-
PONGY          Mireille,     “Politiques      culturelles   Blazy and Catherine Trautmann claimed to play as
territoriales : une approche en termes de référentiel’,     moral safeguards against the far right.
in Papiers du GRESE, n° 6, Autumn 1989, p. 19-                   BOLTANSKI Luc, Les cadres, volume cited,
32 ; Approches de la la production culturelle               p.474.
territoriale, GRICC, Toulouse, 1989 ; SAEZ Guy,                   At these dates, proportions were 12 and 14%
“Le règne des professionnels” in Villes en                  respectively for theatre, 7 and 9% for a classical
recomposition. Les politiques culturelles à                 music concert, 27 and 30% for a museum. The
Grenoble et à Montpellier, Grenoble, CERAT,                 survey was carried out on a representative sample
1990.                                                       of the French population over 15. The survey takes
    Eve Chiapello shows that, due to the                    into account answers given in the last 12 months.
transformation of the social position of artists and        See DONNAT Olivier, Les Français face à la
management practices and references, the “artistic          culture, volume cited, p.156. There is no need for
critics” of management and administration have              an examination of methodology, as would be the
considerably lost importance in favour of a                 case if the figures were really used. The latest
“reciprocal hybridisation” which can be seen in the         figures are available in the last edition to date, Les
“artistic organisations” (publishers, orchestras,           pratiques culturelles des Français. Enquête 1997,
post-production audiovisual societies) of the               Paris, Documentation française, 1998.
commercial domain but also within modern and                     FLAUBERT Gustave, letter to Louise Collet,
aesthetic innovations domains. CHIAPELLO Eve,               cited in COMPAGNON Antoine, La troisème
Artistes versus managers. Le management culturel            République des lettres, Paris, Seuil, 1983. My
face à la critique artiste, Paris, Métaillé, 1998.          thanks to Bernard Pudal for having drawn my
   This “professional and “administrative” change           attention to this text.
of public cultural intervention is not unique to                MARX Karl, Introduction générale à la critique
France. It can be seen in Germany, for example.             de l’économie politique, (1857), reproduced in
LABORIER Pascale, Culture et édification                    Philosophie, Paris, Gallimard, 1994, p. 443 and
nationale en Allemagne… op. cit., p. 625 and                following.
following.                                                      On statistical classifications, linked to and by
   For a general presentation of an analysis of the         analogy       with      state   classifications,   see
transformations of the domination modes linked to           DESROSIERES Alain, La politique des grands
the social spaces” differentiation and the hypothesis       nombres. Histoire de la raison statistique, Paris, La
of the “extension of the legitimisation circuits”, see      Découverte, 1993.
BOURDIEU Pierre, La noblesse d’État, op. cit., p.               BOURDIEU Pierre, “Décrire et prescrire, Actes
548-559; CHAMPAGNE Patrick, Faire l’opinion,                de la recherche en sciences sociales n°38, 1981, p.
Paris, Minuit, 1990, p. 276 and following.                  69-73.

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008                                                             32
    LACROIX Bernard, “Ordre politique et ordre
social”, in LECA Jean, GRAWITZ Madeleine,
Traité de science politique, volume 1, Paris, PUF,
1984, esp. p. 503.
     From “people” and “culture”, refers to a
movement that aims at bringing out culture to the
    On this subject see the survey carried out by
ARSEC on how the absence of cultural practice is
    See recent surveys published in Développement
culturel and the articles and declarations of the
minister related to the subject in Lettre
d’information, published by the Ministry of Culture.

GSPE Working Papers – Vincent DUBOIS – 10/28/2008      33

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