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Active Learning and Research
Active Learning and Research
Economic geographer Yuko Aoyama is interested in how technologies such as the Internet can help consumers and producers overcome the contraints of geography and connect in a global marketplace, and how that connection affects cultural identity.

The Role of Consumption and Globalization in a Cultural Industry: The Case of Flamenco

Aoyama, Yuko. The Role of Consumption and Globalization in a Cultural Industry: The Case of Flamenco. Geoforum, vol. 38 (2007) pp. 103-113.
The rise of cultural industries is in part facilitated by the rise of leisure and entertainment in the advanced industrialized economies. This paper explores one such example, taking ‘ethnic’ art complex, flamenco, and examines the role of consumption in shaping flamenco, both as an art form and as an industry. The global reach of the flamenco industry is assessed by focusing on two major markets, Japan and the United States. It suggests the presence of a geographic paradox in contemporary cultural industries, which, on the one hand, points to the need to retain their place-based identity, and on the other hand, indicates the need for regional cultures to establish links to export markets for their survival. It also shows that contemporary cultural change is not a unilateral process of the global invading the local. Rather, it is a process of consumers interpreting, appropriating, and adopting a cultural commodity in their own terms.

Keywords: Consumption, Cultural Industries, Globalization, Flamenco

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Japanese flamenco dance students in Kyoto, Japan. Photographs and permission provided courtesy of Flamenco Studio Fortuna where Professor Aoyama took courses in 2002.

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