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Creating the Cultural Community: Ethnic Diversity vs. Agglomeration

  • Margaret Olfert
  • Mark Partridge

Abstract Following work by Richard Florida and Jane Jacobs, tolerance along with talent and technology are purported to attract the ‘creative class’, seen as key in spurring economic dynamism in the knowledge economy. Representing both tolerance and diversity, we test an index of community-level ethnic diversity against the location decisions of workers in the culture occupations, a key component of the creative class, in the recently defined Canadian Framework for Cultural Statistics. Supporting past studies, we find that greater ethnic diversity is consistent with a higher cultural occupations share in urban communities (though not rural). However, even for urban areas, growth in cultural occupation workers over the past 15 years is not affected by prior ethnic diversity. The culture workers' share in an urban community, once established, appears highly persistent, suggesting that policy aimed at enhancing the livability of a community through increasing its cultural footprint appears to be misguided. Création de la communauté culturelle: diversité ethnique ou agglomérationRésumé Dans le sillage des travaux menés par Richard Florida et Jane Jacobs, la tolérance, ainsi que le talent et la technologie, sont supposés attirer la «classe créative», considérée comme la cheville ouvrière de l'animation d'un dynamisme économique dans l’économie du savoir. En représentant tant la tolérance que la diversité, nous testons un index de diversité ethnique à l’échelon communautaire en fonction des décisions de localisation des travailleurs dans les activités culturelles, élément clé de la classe créative, dans le Cadre des Statistiques culturelles au Canada, défini récemment. A l'appui d’études précédentes, il nous semble qu'une diversité technique majeure va de pair avec un rôle supérieur des activités culturelles dans les communautés urbaines (et non rurales). Toutefois, même dans les zones urbaines, l'expansion des travailleurs dans le secteur des activités culturelles au cours des 15 dernières années n'est pas affectée par une diversité ethnique précédente. Une fois qu'elle a été établie, la part des travailleurs du secteur culturel dans la communauté urbaine semble extrêmement persistante, en indiquant ainsi qu'une politique visant à renforcer la qualité de vie d'une communauté par le biais de l'augmentation de sa présence culturelle serait erronée. Creación de la comunidad cultural: diversidad étnica frente a aglomeraciónExtracto Siguiendo el trabajo de Richard Florida y Jane Jacobs, la tolerancia junto con el talento y la tecnología se dan a entender para atraer a la ‘clase creativa’, percibida como clave para estimular el dinamismo económico en la economía del conocimiento. Representando tanto a la tolerancia como a la diversidad, ensayamos un índice de diversidad étnica a nivel de comunidad frente a las decisiones de emplazamiento de trabajadores en las Ocupaciones de Cultura, un componente clave de la clase creativa, en el recientemente definido Marco Canadiense de Estadísticas Culturales. Apoyando estudios pasados, descubrimos que una mayor diversidad étnica es consistente con un reparto más alto de ocupaciones culturales en comunidades urbanas (aunque no rurales). No obstante, incluso en las áreas urbanas, el crecimiento de los trabajadores de ocupación cultural durante los últimos 15 años no se ha visto afectado por diversidad étnica previa. Una vez establecido, el reparto de trabajadores de cultura en una comunidad parece ser muy persistente, lo que sugiere que las políticas dirigidas a mejorar los medios de vida de una comunidad a través de aumentar su huella cultural parecen ser erróneas.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Spatial Economic Analysis.

Volume (Year): 6 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 25-55

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Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:6:y:2011:i:1:p:25-55
DOI: 10.1080/17421772.2010.540032
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