2. Defining culture and its domains

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2.1 Definition and criteria for culture
2.2 What are culture domains?

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What follows is a summary of the main elements of the framework. A detailed explanation of the concepts and definitions underlying the development of culture statistics is available in the Conceptual Framework for Culture Statistics 2011.

2.1 Definition and criteria for culture

The 2011 Framework (CFCS) retains the definition of culture used in 2004 with one change - it omits 'human' from the term 'heritage' to broaden the scope of the definition to include natural heritage. For the purposes of measurement, the definition of culture is:

Creative artistic activity and the goods and services produced by it, and the preservation of heritage.

This definition is conceptual, and casts the net loosely around the meaning of culture, using groupings (called domains) to bring precision to the framework.

The creative chain consists of an initial creative idea, which is usually combined with other inputs to produce a culture product, through a series of interlinked stages between its production and use. This creative chain includes a number of distinct steps, most of which are measured through the tools outlined in this guide.

The CFCS sets specific criteria as the condition for the inclusion of any particular good or service as in scope for the measurement of culture. No single criterion is used to determine which products are in scope for culture; a variety of criteria is necessary to pin down those that meet the definition.

To be in scope for culture, a good or service must comply with the framework's definition of culture and satisfy at least one of the following six criteria:

  1. It has the potential of being protected by copyright legislation, or in other words, be 'copyrightable'. Examples include a magazine article, script, manuscript, drawing, choreography, book, newspaper column, sculpture, radio program, film, videogame, etc.;
  2. It supports the creation, production, dissemination or preservation of culture products, e.g. recording, manufacturing, printing, broadcasting, podcasting, etc.;
  3. It adds to, or alters, the content of a culture product (content services), e.g. editorial services, translation, illustration, layout and design, music, etc.;
  4. It preserves, exhibits, or interprets human or natural heritage, e.g. historic sites and buildings, archives, museums, art galleries, libraries, botanical gardens, zoos, etc.;
  5. It provides training or educational services aimed at individuals who create, produce or preserve culture products; or
  6. It governs, finances, or supports directly culture creation, production or dissemination, e.g. services provided by government, unions, associations, managers, copyright societies, etc.

The 2004 Framework provided a list of industries, products and occupations that comprise culture. Each industry-based category was presented as the sum of its listed components so that the framework was defined by available measures. The 2011 framework defines its sub-categories conceptually. This means that products, such as artisanal crafts or some interactive digital media, which were not included in 2004, are now identified as in scope despite a current lack of tools or codes to support their measurement. While these types of goods or services may not be identified as distinct products within the existing standard classifications, the framework includes them as culture and recognizes the need to explore other means of measurement or estimation.

2.2 What are culture domains?

The CFCS takes the original concepts of the 2004 Framework and revises its terminology to reflect more fully the way that economic activity is measured by Statistics Canada. The culture sector, which is made up of businesses and organizations that are found in a variety of classified industries and parts of industries, is a "synthetic" industry sector. Culture does not exist as a distinct industry sector within the System of National Accounts (SNA) or the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

The 2004 Framework took a primarily "industry" based focus and defined its subcategories as "industries". The 2011 Framework has changed its measurement approach by creating unique groupings, called 'domains'. A domain is a conceptual category which may reflect an industry or group of establishments (e.g. film industries), but may also describe a group of occupations (e.g. film workers), or a class of products (e.g. published works).

Figure 1 Domains in the Canadian Framework for Culture StatisticsFigure 1 Domains in the Canadian Framework for Culture Statistics

The domains and sub-domains are intended to be measureable, distinct and recognizable to data users. At their highest level, domains consist of an aggregation of activities, artistic disciplines, industries, products and occupations that are related and provide a useful level of analysis. In most cases, these higher-level domains may be comparable at the international level, while a sub-domain may support analysis at a more discrete or detailed level.

A domain is defined by its description in the conceptual framework, not by the sum total of the codes provided in the classification tables included in this guide. The lists in the classification tables provide a collection of current classification codes that can be used to identify industries, products or occupations linked to a particular domain. These lists are not definitive in the sense that they may change when classification systems are modified to accommodate new or revised codes for industries, products or occupations.

Core culture sub-domains produce goods and services that are the result of creative artistic activity and whose main purpose is the transmission of an intellectual or cultural concept. In core sub-domains, the entire creative chain is in scope for the measurement of culture. By illustration, the core sub-domain of Sound Recording includes the work of recording studios, the manufacturing of recordings, the distribution of recorded music through the sale or exchange of recorded media of all kinds, and the use of recorded music by consumers at home and at other venues. The Sound Recording sub-domain represents all activities, products, and occupations defined as recorded music.

Ancillary culture sub-domains produce goods and services that are the result of creative artistic activity (e.g. designs, architectural plans), but their primary purpose is not the transmission of an intellectual or cultural concept. The final products, which have primarily a practical purpose (e.g. a landscape, a building, an advertisement), are not covered by the framework's definition of culture.

The classification guide only maps standard classification systems to the Culture sub-domains and to the Transversal domains of Education and training, and Governance, funding and professional support. It does not address the Infrastructure domains.

For a full definition and discussion of the CFCS domains, see the Conceptual Framework for Culture Statistics 2011.

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