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A Study on Establishing a Cultural Statistics System for the Seoul Metropolitan Government

Author: 
Seonhae BaikㆍInchol ShinㆍDo-Sam NaㆍMinjin Park

Since 2000, Korea has actively promoted cultural policies, which has led to a continually increasing demand for cultural statistics. However, since the conceptual definition of culture is comprehensive and statistics are produced according to the viewpoints and demands of institutions such as the central government, the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and local governments, there have been many difficulties associated with the production and management of statistics. In addition, from the perspective of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, which develops and implements policies on culture and the arts, the “policy usefulness” of cultural statistics is important, meaning these statistics can be used in policy analyses and the policy-making process. Nevertheless, as the existing system is focused on the current state of the arts and culture, its policy utilization remains low.
This study aims to conduct an overall review of the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s cultural statistics and use the knowledge gained to build a comprehensive cultural statistics system. Since this is an early study of cultural statistics, the scope is limited to the cultural domain of the UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics. We investigate the shortcomings of the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s cultural statistics by conducting a comparative analysis of international and domestic cultural statistics, including those maintained by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, while also collecting the opinions of cultural experts on the topics and methods of constructing cultural statistics through surveys and FGIs. As a result, the basic direction for establishing cultural statistics that the Seoul Metropolitan Government should adopt can be summarized as follows: first, the scope should not be limited to art, but should be extended to include the general cultural lives of citizens; second, the target group should be expanded to include not only Seoul citizens but also its de facto population; and third, it should be simultaneously compatible with government statistics and specific enough to be utilized at the district level.
In conclusion, the establishment of a sustainable statistics system that responds to the diverse cultural policy demands of Seoul was set as a goal for the Seoul Metropolitan Government regarding its cultural statistics. In order to achieve this, three strategic directions were suggested: the production of statistics reflecting Seoul's cultural characteristics, the establishment of a sustainable cultural statistics system, and the curation of demand-friendly cultural statistics. In addition, four essential statistics were suggested: the Seoul Citizen's Cultural Activity Survey, Seoul Artist's Activity Survey, Seoul Cultural Ecology Index Survey, and Seoul Cultural Diversity Survey. Furthermore, we propose the establishment of a <Culture Information Platform> to facilitate data generation in the future.
Establishing a cultural statistics system will allow the Seoul Metropolitan Government to secure basic data to support the direction and validity of its cultural policy establishment and implementation, thereby laying the foundation for presenting and verifying the socio-cultural values and effects of Seoul's cultural policy.