Geographies of the Japanese Cultural Economy Innovation and Creative Consumption
Sammanfattning: What is the role of the consumer in the contemporary cultural economy? Where are culturaleconomy innovations and competitiveness created? This thesis aims to provide tentativeanswers to these questions by focusing on some illustrative examples from the Japanesecultural economy. However, rather than primarily describing firm strategies or industrialdynamics, emphasis is put on the places and practices of users. The thesis is based on a seriesof qualitative studies carried out between 2007 and 2009. In these studies various forms ofinteraction between consumption, innovation and space are highlighted. In the first article,media mix is analyzed. Media mix is the space in which media, images and narrativesinteract: a space where the user contributes to the introduction of new innovation into alreadyexisting concepts, and thereby, plays a crucial role in creating the mix. In the second article,the Akihabara district in Tokyo is analyzed. This is a place where consumers enable hightechnologyand popular culture to merge and where new trends and consumer cultures arecreated. In the third article, the mega event Comiket is analyzed. Comiket is a market foramateur artists involved in Japanese popular culture. It is a space where plagiarism andprovocation by mainstream Japanese popular culture are driving factors for creativity. Thethesis concludes by suggesting that the role of the consumer needs to be further emphasized inresearch on the cultural economy, as many users are active innovators, and create trends andpractices that shape global consumer cultures.
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