rss_2.0Culture. Society. Economy. Politics FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Culture. Society. Economy. Politics Society. Economy. Politics Feed Market or a Chance to Be Different? Micro Independent Presses in the UK<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article looks at small independent publishers in the UK and explores whether there is room for them in the overcrowded UK publishing scene. The literature review considers contradictory press reports about the health of the UK publishing industry during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. A questionnaire allowing in-depth responses was sent to six micro-publishers and four independent bookshops. The responses were analyzed and supplemented with publicly available interviews with the publishers and personal conversations with the booksellers. A case study of the recently founded publisher of translated crime fiction Corylus Books confirms many of the issues reported by the surveyed micro-publishers. This research offers an inside look at the UK micro-publishers’ challenges and creative approaches, providing practical and applicable insights not only for the UK market but also for small publishers in other countries, especially agents or publishers looking to sell rights to those markets.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and the Children's Book Market at the Crossroads: the Foundations for Creating a Romanian House of Children's Literature<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Society has always relied on education for the building of progress ever since the dawn of history, and books have always been strong agents of change no matter the shape they came in (papyrus, codex, handwritten manuscripts, printed books, digital books, etc.). For this reason, analyzing the interplay between education and books is valuable and necessary if we wish to get a better sense of society at any moment. This paper explores how education and the book industry intersect in today's Romanian society. However, it also proposes a possible solution for strengthening their relationship and opening new horizons for culture and research. More specifically, my analysis focuses on children's literature since children's education is considered an investment into the future of society in modern democratic states. In the case of Romania, it is unfortunate that this type of literature is somewhat neglected compared to other countries, but this should never be a good enough reason for not trying to create more creative contexts to improve the situation. Drawing inspiration from what other countries are doing to develop bridges between education and the children's book market, but at the same time highlighting essential initiatives in Romania that can become reliable engines of change, I strongly advocate for the necessity and possibility of creating a Romanian House of Children's Literature, open to supporting researchers, professionals, and families in their shared mission to ensure quality development of children.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Pages, Facing Challenges: Unveiling Business Inactivity and SMEs' Challenges in Romania's Book Publishing Market<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Book publishing companies navigate the interplay between localization and globalization seamlessly, yet the cadence at which global dynamics infiltrate local markets unfolds at different rhythms. Using publicly available data about the performance of Romanian book publishers, this paper explores the local market and its dynamics from 2018 to 2021. The results indicate "an inactivity trend" among enterprises: more than 40% of companies could not generate a net profit, and more than 50% had no employees. The prevalence of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) over big companies is an intrinsic characteristic of the Romanian market. Although compared to bigger companies, SMEs manage to translate sales into profitability, over 70% of small and medium-sized companies have a turnover below 60,000 Euros. The paper concludes by highlighting growth opportunities, such as tapping into the Romanian diaspora and exploring the correlation between book sales, university locations, and the role of academic institutions in shaping reading habits.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Like You’re Living in a Better World: Creative Writing as a Means for Building the Societies We Wish to See<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The following article explores a proposed educational programme premised on writing for utopias. Specifically, through facilitated dialogue, participants would collectively engage in creative writing as a mechanism for envisioning alternative futures grown out of divergent political ideologies or social norms to those they experience today. Participants are encouraged to question their current mentality, reflect on why society operates as it does today, and consider what changes they would want to bear witness to. The contribution outlines core concepts for the programme, whilst offering a sample twelve-session guide with suggestions on how to adapt it based on previous knowledge or the participants' ambitions. The ambition of such an undertaking is that students are supported - and support each other - to break with traditional formulaic tasks and, instead, develop their creativity and vision. Their works then serve as a starting point for further tasks predicated on critical dialogue over why they hold particular beliefs, rely on their stated visions to be utopian, and, ultimately, what steps are required to build towards the society they wish to see. The premise is non-prescriptive to enable writers to take their narratives in whichever directions they see fit - for example, whilst science fiction permits us to consider far flung futures, and fantasy enables perspectives to emerge from any source (flora, fauna, or otherwise), historical fiction enables us to revisit significant moments in time to ask what could have been had different choices been made. Throughout the submission, several literary and cinematic fiction examples are drawn upon to help demonstrate the relevant points.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the Manuscript: Unraveling Author-Publisher Dynamics<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In recent years, customer experience and satisfaction have become more critical than ever before. Companies focus on these two elements to retain and acquire customers in a highly competitive environment. The relationship between authors and publishers has always been complex, with dynamics deeply rooted in the social and cultural environment. At the same time, the success of their collaboration significantly impacts the local creative and sociocultural landscape. It is essential to understand the factors that determine author satisfaction and ease of collaboration, both generally and industry-specific, to support the growth and development of the book sector. This paper analyzes the collaborative dynamics between authors and publishers using the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES) metrics based on a survey of 133 authors from various literary fields and geographic areas in Romania. The research findings provide insight into the key drivers behind authors' satisfaction and ease of collaboration with publishers. Moreover, we suggest practical recommendations from authors to publishers that can improve their collaborative processes, enhancing positive experiences for authors and potentially improving the overall quality of published works. This study's insights shall benefit authors, publishing houses, various organizations operating in the publishing field, policymakers, and regulatory bodies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Between Industry and Culture<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Photojournalism as an industry has experienced a highly dynamic development in recent years. The present study aims to provide an encompassing image of this industry and its emergence, as well as its challenges in the current context. The cultural dimension of this sector, as well as its prevalent connection to the book industry, constitute two of the main perspectives elaborated in this study. Lastly, an entrepreneurial perspective on photojournalism as a profession is adopted, while a detailed DESTEP analysis is provided further to illustrate the practical implications of this field of work.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Post-Pandemic-Era: Another Crossroad for the Book Industry? the Course for Sustainable Aging: Socio-Environmental and Economic Impacts on Djiboutian Elderly Population<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aging population has become a crucial demographic trend worldwide, as it poses both economic and sustainable challenges to governments and societies. And, ostensibly, this unprecedented increase in the senior demographic is currently unfolding in East African nations, primarily, due to substantial advancements in the healthcare system and the commendable support and promotion of education within the region. In this context, the current article examines the relationship between the aging population, ecological footprint, consumption of renewable energy, governmental healthcare expenditures, trade, and urbanization within the context of the Republic of Djibouti. To investigate the data and explore the dynamics and interactions among variables, a comprehensive approach was employed, which involved utilizing an autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model, a Granger causality test, and both an impulse response function (IRF) and variance decomposition (VD) analyses. According to the ARDL findings, urbanization has a positive relationship with an aging population. In contrast, the health sector expenditures demonstrated a negative association with the elderly population in Djibouti. This indicates an alarming scenario where government spending on elderly care fails to effectively meet the specific needs of seniors due to insufficient funding, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and inadequate program implementation. Consequently, this leads to a significant gap in coverage for a large portion of the elderly population. On the other hand, it is worth noting that the well-being of the elderly population in Djibouti sees only a slight improvement influenced by the trade performance variable. Nonetheless, this positive impact is somewhat hindered by the lack of sufficient financial inclusion measures that should have ideally been driven by trade-related activities. Moreover, the study’s IRF and VR highlight a positive shock between the consumption of renewable energy and the well-being of the elderly population. Nevertheless, it is of utmost importance to recognize the detrimental impact of the ecological footprint, which significantly undermines the overall well-being of the aging population. Therefore, policymakers must carefully weigh and benefit the simultaneous effect of the advantages of renewable energy consumption on the environment, and on the well-being of the elderly population. It is also essential to emphasize the need to devise more inclusive policies that can comprehensively address this issue and improve the welfare of the elderly demographic.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Culture and Aging. Exploring older generations through the lenses of shifting patterns and the Use of New Technologies: Loneliness and Support Networks<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The study of seniors’ perception of the use of technology is the main topic of this article. This is relevant because of the topicality and the need to understand how active aging and the use of new technology are realized in a seniors’ dedicated program in Romania. In the literature review section, the following concepts are presented: the role of technology in everyday life, the types of technologies seniors use, the meaning of information and communication technology concept, and understanding the concept of loneliness and seniors’ needs. The second section of the article consists of qualitative research using based on a case study (in-depth interviews and participatory observation) on the <italic>Telefonul Vârstnicului</italic> Program (Senior People Phone Line) in Romania. The purpose of the research is to identify the seniors’ needs, faced problems, reached needs, and the qualities a social worker should have. The main findings of the research emphasize the fact that senior citizens are guided to various state institutions, providing them with useful, verified, and official information. Older people face several problems, both financial and medical, but they also need to communicate to relieve loneliness and meet new people. The digital skills of the elderly are quite limited but have been growing in recent years.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Technology Use from Older Media Generations in Romania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Research on information and communication technology (ICT) and studies on aging revealed that, despite initial assumptions of technophobia among older adults they actually embrace ICT when perceived as beneficial for their specific needs, for example, to stay connected with loved ones. Considering the current technological era and the transformative impact of social media and the new communication and information devices upon the way generations consume information, it is only logical for research to focus on exploring the unique characteristics of the information used within each group. In addition, there is a scarcity of data coming from national statistics regarding the prevalent utilization of ICT among older adults, coupled with a growing significance of exploring generational media consumption in light of their unique historical and cultural context. Therefore, the current paper exposes the usage narratives and particularities of older media generations in Romania, based on qualitative research conducted in February-July 2021 as a part of a larger doctoral project. 18 respondents aged 52 to 79, 8 males and 10 females, took part in 17 family interviews exploring the complex dynamic between modern technology use and the historical and cultural space occupied by different generations. Results show that these two generations prefer the technology that appeared during their formative years and matured while the generations also matured and use the technology that appeared after their formative years only because of external motivation (working environment, keeping in touch with loved ones that use a different technology).</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, Creative, and Religious Senior Travel: Evidence and Research on the City of Iași<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The tourism industry is one of the most successful and offering industries considering the variations it has, and that is universally addressed to everyone, regardless of age, nationality, or gender. In this century, tourism for seniors has expanded at a significantly accelerated pace globally. Services for senior tourists are increasingly diversified globally, as well as in Romania, where this research is developed. Travel agencies are creating packages and special offers tailored to domestic and international seniors for circuits or pilgrimages. Nowadays, being a senior is no longer a shortcoming. They benefit from increased attention from travel agencies that provide more advantageous prices. This article deals with three tourism segments: cultural tourism, creative tourism, and religious tourism focusing on seniors. The purpose of the article is to find out, through the questionnaire method, the type of tourism practiced by senior Romanian tourists and the attraction factors in choosing the city of Iași as a tourist destination. The results of the study are relevant in that the tourism practiced by the senior respondents is pilgrimage tourism. Almost half of them chose religious tourist attractions as motivating factors to travel to Iași, and a notable event in this regard is the annual pilgrimage to Saint Parascheva. According to the questionnaire results, cultural tourism is practiced harmoniously with religious tourism. Therefore, the study contributes to the tourism field by extending our current knowledge of senior tourism and has implications for better organizing their travel.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Drama as a Method to Explore the Museum Environment. An Action Research Example at the Historical Museum of Alexandroupolis (Greece)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present research paper explores the contribution of the Inquiry Drama Method to meaning-making in a museum environment. It presents and assesses an educational program realized in the Historical Museum of Alexandroupolis. The article comprises a theoretical and an empirical section. The first part refers to the museum as a context of development and learning, in Inquiry Drama Method, and the functional connection between them. In the second part, a theatre-pedagogy intervention is presented through Inquiry Drama Method and Action Research methodology in a museum environment. The participants are university students in the ‘Drama and Group Empowerment and Resilience’ course of the Department of Primary Education at the Democritus University of Thrace. This educational research intervention was completed in three circles of four main stages each (plan, action, observe, reflect), drawing on museum exhibits regarding photos of refugees in Thrace as well as theatrical texts, storytelling, and personal testimonies from Armenian refugees. Results show that the participants constructed personal and social meaning through Inquiry Drama Method and drama techniques on sociopolitical issues, regarding what it means to be a refugee in the old and contemporary times.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Dynamics of the Museum Concept the Gap between Museums and Schools<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Museums’ roles are diversifying considering their dynamic relationships with the present-day economy, society, and communities. Nevertheless, education is the main constant marketing museums’ complex activities. An important part of the educational mission of museums is designed with and for teachers and their students. Nevertheless, these partnerships are complex and they need more understanding for designing more effective educational programs. Having this in mind, the present study analyzes the way primary-school teachers in Bucharest, Romania, interact with museums and how they use their collections as educational resources in class. The qualitative investigation implemented shows that there is a high potential for partnership and teachers need more guidance and cooperation opportunities coming from museum educators and curators.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the Managerial Performance of Romanian Museums with the Help of Stakeholders<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Museum professionals worldwide make considerable efforts to maintain the integrity of the cultural institutions they manage, as organizations that collect, research, conserve, and exhibit, as well as in their educational and social purpose, in a concerted effort to make museums more performing, more popular, more attractive and more competitive. In this context, many questions arise about how a performing museum looks like in the current social, political, and cultural contexts, how the performance of a museum can be evaluated, and, especially, how the managerial performance of museums can be increased. At the center of these concerns, the issue of stakeholders, the partnerships with them, the strategies for their optimal approach, as well as the impact of such initiatives on increasing the managerial performance of museums, occupy an essential role. One of the objectives of this research is to emphasize the need to use new strategies, methods, and tools in an attempt to make museum institutions perform better from a managerial point of view. To verify the perception of such initiatives, two practical applications were carried out: quantitative research, which analyzes the perception of internal stakeholders (museum staff) on the involvement of external stakeholders in the process of improving museum services, and qualitative research, which sought to capture the perception of museum managers in Romania regarding partnerships with stakeholders and their role in increasing the managerial performance of the institution. The results show that museums are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of stakeholders with an active interest in museum practices and policies and optimized solutions regarding the institutional and organizational transformation of museum institutions in Romania are taking shape, to rebuild the way museums interact with relevant stakeholders.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Roof Coverings of Vernacular Architecture in Open-Air Museums. A Long-Term Approach for Sustainable Intervention Work<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The purpose of this article is to examine how modern techniques of measurement and visual representation using ICT can aid in the assessment and preservation of wooden architectural landmarks in open-air (folk-life) museums. By developing a general understanding of vernacular architecture, experts can more effectively plan for maintenance and large-scale interventions to protect these structures. Specifically, the article focuses on the use of photogrammetry to assess and diagnose roof coverings, which are a crucial component of vernacular architecture. Roof coverings not only impact the aesthetic of a building but also play a significant role in its function. As they often reflect local customs and beliefs, they are essential to a community's cultural identity and sense of belonging. Measuring roof coverings in vernacular architecture sites can be challenging due to the availability of materials like thatch, clay tiles, or wooden shingles, and the negative impact that a degraded roof can have on the overall state of a building.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’s History in the Museum. Collecting Testimonies of Current Events for the House of European History<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Contemporary collecting relies on the expertise of museum professionals. They identify, acquire, and safeguard current objects and testimonies that can illustrate and challenge history writing in the future. This paper presents the contemporary collecting endeavours of the House of European History—a museum that opened its doors in Brussels in 2017, as an academically independent project of the European Parliament. It contributes to the current discussion on best practices in collecting materials relevant to present-day society and documenting history in the making. In particular, it stresses the importance for a history museum to document significant aspects of the present and focuses on two recent collecting actions of the House, which were undertaken to document the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Museums, but no Fiction: Portuguese Judiciary Police Museum’s Projects for the Protection of Cultural Heritage 1996-2022<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article presents three interdisciplinary and community-serving museum projects carried out by the Portuguese Judiciary Police Museum (Museu de Polícia Judiciária – MPJ), two of which are based on original ideas and unprecedented procedures. All three of them are ‘out of the walls’ crime prevention projects for the protection of Portuguese cultural heritage. The first project (starting in 1996) was dedicated to museums, the second (2003) to religious art in places of worship, and the third (2007) to the Portuguese unique and identitary Tile Heritage. The common genesis of the three projects is rooted on the one hand in two competencies of the Portuguese Judiciary Police (Polícia Judiciária, PJ) - crime prevention and crimes linked to cultural heritage – and on the other hand in museum concepts emerged in the last fifty years in museum studies - e. g. Declaration of Santiago do Chile 1972, ICOM Round Table; ‘Siena Charter’ ICOM Italy 2014; new museum definition ICOM Prag 2022. The three interdisciplinary projects – based on important partnerships from different academic areas and society sectors – are described in this article in terms of motives, implemented actions and results, and a final summary evaluation. Notwithstanding the severe financial conditions – all three projects had extremely small or even nonexistent budgets - and many not always surmountable obstacles, all three projects presented measurable positive results, and two of them received important national or international awards and were ‘exported’ to Brazil as models.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Traditional Crafts in Sustainable Development and Building Community Resilience: Case Stories from India<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Concepts of sustainability build on slow fashion, local production, recycling, and reuse. These principles are quite inherent in traditional crafts. The paper shares examples of how traditional crafts can support the transition into a more sustainable and resilient way of living. It shares how a quilting tradition called Kantha has been developed, refined, and transmitted to rehabilitate women refugees and has over a span of a few decades led to women’s empowerment and the promotion of sustainable fashion. It also examines the potential of developing a traditional craft-based green economy for fostering inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development. Natural fiber-based crafts for making mats and basketry based on locally sourced raw materials reflect the long-term relationships between people and their environments. The paper shares how strategies for safeguarding a fine mat weaving tradition based on a kind of water reed called Madurkathi contributed to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue