The third stage of the research has explored the conceptual difficulties that arise in the notion of 'the arts' and the implications of these difficulties for attempts to generalise about their value, function and impact. This has resulted in a paper, 'Researching the Social Impact of the Arts: literature, fiction and the novel', which was published in the International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol 15, no 1, 2009, 17-33. The paper examines both 'essentialist' and 'institutional' perspectives, first on ‘the arts’ in toto and then on literature, fiction and the novel. It shows how literature sits uneasily in the main systems of classifying the arts and how the novel and fiction itself are seen as problematic categories. The position of the novel in the literary canon is also discussed, with particular reference to the shifting instability of the canon. The paper suggests that the dilemmas thrown up in trying to define or classify the novel are likely to be encountered in attempting to define other art forms. The implications of these findings for the interpretation and conduct of traditional ‘impact studies’ are explored.

The fourth and final stage of the project considers the implications of the research as a whole for understanding the social impact of the arts and the place of the arts in modern societies. It also explores the part that research actually plays in the formulation of policies for culture and the actions that follow. The resulting article, entitled 'Beyond the 'toolkit approach': Arts impact evaluation research and the realities of cultural policy-making', has been published in an article in the Journal of Cultural Research, vol 14, no 2, 2010, 17-33.

Publications

Belfiore, E. & Bennett, O. (2010) 'Beyond the 'toolkit approach': Arts impact evaluation research and the realities of cultural policy-making', Journal for Cultural Research, 14.2.

Belfiore, E. & Bennett O. (2009) 'Researching the Social Impact of the Arts: literature, fiction and the novel' (Word Document), International Journal of Cultural Policy, 15.1

Belfiore, E. & Bennett O. (2008) The Social Impact of the Arts: An Intellectual History, Palgrave/Macmillan, Basingstoke

Belfiore, E. & Bennett O. (2007) 'Determinants of impact: towards a better understanding of encounters with the arts', Cultural Trends, 16.3

Belfiore, E. & Bennett, O. (2007) 'Rethinking the Social Impacts of the Arts', International Journal of Cultural Policy, 13.2

Belfiore, E. (2007) 'A matter of values', Arts Professional, Issue 140, 26 February 2007

Belfiore, E., (2006) 'The Unacknowledged Legacy: Plato, the Republic and cultural policy', International Journal of Cultural Policy: Special Issue – Intellectuals and Cultural Policy, Part 1, 12.2

Bennett, O. (2006) 'Intellectuals, Romantics and Cultural Policy', International Journal of Cultural Policy: Special Issue – Intellectuals and Cultural Policy, Part 1, 12.1

Belfiore, E. (2006) 'The social impacts of the arts – myth or reality?', in Mirza, M. (ed.) (2006) Culture Vultures: Is UK arts policy damaging the arts?, London: Policy Exchange

Belfiore E. (2006) 'Evaluating "value"', Arts Professional, Issue 115, 13 February 2006