Department of Culture and Language Policy

Conceptual delimitation and definition of the CCIs sectors in Basque Country


The background to the debate is the expansive character of culture understood as a sector and, therefore, the difficulty of delimiting it. In parallel to the development of this debate, and as a consequence of it, more activities have been added in both the calculation of the economic value of the cultural sector and cultural statistical information. And the challenge increases if the difficulty of establishing limits in the cultural sector is added to the expansion towards the Creative Industries.

The definition of the CCIs can be either more or less widely inclusive, there is no clear consensus and it is unlikely that there ever will be one, because everything suggests that the sectors and subsectors which make them up will continue to expand in tandem with the transformations in the economic, social and cultural realities. In fact, the cultural sector has undergone a process similar to the institutionalisation of cultural policies in the mid-20th century.

However, although the debate remains open, the reference organisms in the analysis are drawing up the coordinates marking the perimeter of the CCI sector. Both UNESCO and the European Statistical System Network on Culture (ESSnet-Culture) propose conceptual models which delimit, define and propose the harmonised statistical tools for the analysis of the CCI sector.

This report contains the design of a conceptual model of analysis of the CCI sector in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. Starting out from these guidelines and recommendations put forward by ESSnet-Culture, because it is the main statistical reference point within the European framework, the model assumes the characterisation of the hardcore of the traditional cultural sector and widens the radius of action towards the creative sectors. It has been designed with the intention of being a practical and viable tool. Far from proposing an abstract model of global definition of what the CCIs are considered to be, it has been prepared following an inductive method, in which analysis of the specific is the starting point, proposing what is measured and how it is measured in each sector, until a general framework for the CCIs of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country has been produced. Its design has been guided by two things:

  • It starts out from the determining factors and the existing reality, and bases itself on the reference models for the analysis of CCIs, and from knowledge of the singularities of the sector in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.
  • It proposes a framework which allows international comparability at the same time as being representative of the CCIs of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.

Thus, its usefulness will be, on the one hand, analytic to provide guidelines for research about the CCI sector in accordance with the criteria of consistency and comparability that are required from the statistical perspective; and on the other hand, it will serve as a framework to guide public policies.