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Norway/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.2 National definition of culture

The latest white paper on culture (2003) maintains that the meaning of "culture" has changed historically due to the purpose and context of its use. This white paper placed an emphasis on the need for a concept of culture to be sufficiently open to the changes of society, particularly those taking place in the area of arts and culture. While the understanding of "culture" within cultural policy has so far been closely linked to nation building and welfare policy, the white paper maintains that globalisation and individualisation require a concept of culture that can cope with the diversity and complexity of contemporary culture. Thus, the paper underscores that culture should mainly be understood in terms of processes rather than as an isolated system. It also mentions that some cultural activities previously considered to be outside the area of governmental responsibility have been included in the cultural policy system during the last years. Support schemes for jazz, rock music and similar music forms have been established.

In 2013, a government-appointed committee introduced the term expressive culture to describe the core of the cultural policy. Expressive culture includes (1) services and activities related to the tangible and intangible cultural heritage and (2) artistic activities in the broadest sense. This term, however, has not yet been implemented in official policy documents.

Chapter published: 31-01-2017

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