Australian Bureau of Statistics
4160.0 - Measuring Wellbeing: Frameworks for Australian Social Statistics, 2001
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/10/2001
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Several systems that can be used to measure different aspects of these areas of interest are described below. The first is a participation framework (based on the person counting unit) that recognises a number of different ways individuals participate in culture and leisure. It also identifies some important inputs into culture and leisure participation and recognises that culture and leisure participation draws upon human, social, financial, cultural and natural resources and, in turn affects these resources, either positively or negatively. This framework is formative and some areas associated with culture and leisure may not be covered by it or fully realised. For instance it does not track in detail the connection between individual participation and economic activity. However, the framework will continue to evolve as work on the culture and leisure information model proceeds. It is intended therefore, to be a broad guide to framework development in this area, rather than a definitive model.
The ABS Time Use Framework is also described. This framework classifies time and links with the Time Use Activity Classification to provide a means for measuring time spent on leisure activities. The transactions model described in Chapter 1 is also applied to the area of culture and leisure.
Finally, the Australian Culture and Leisure Classification (ACLC), is described. This classification focuses on the economic aspect of culture and leisure and provides a detailed structure for measuring culture and leisure in terms of the industries, occupations, goods and services associated with the area. The classification is oriented towards counts of businesses, and is closely associated with the economic frameworks elaborated in the Economic Resources and Work chapters of this book. It therefore provides a strong means of analysing economic activity in the areas of culture and leisure.
A CULTURE AND LEISURE PARTICIPATION FRAMEWORK
The framework outlined below aims to recognise some key aspects of individual participation in any given culture or leisure activity. Broadly the framework covers participation in activities undertaken with the purpose of:
Participation in these activities cuts across economic and production boundaries. In other words, the framework is intended to cover participation in both paid and unpaid work in culture and leisure, as well as free time involvement in culture and leisure.
Many relevant activities display aspects of both culture and leisure or fall somewhere between culture and leisure on a continuum. For these reasons, the areas of culture and leisure are not differentiated in this framework. However, in broad terms, the framework includes participation in all leisure activities (i.e. activities undertaken in 'free time' as defined in detail in the Time Use Framework section below). It also includes participation in a range of cultural activities, such as heritage, professional arts, professional sports and religious or spiritual activities.
Heritage - As with individuals, groups generally have an interest in defining, developing and protecting their unique character (or cultural identity), and in learning from the past. For this reason we collect and preserve certain objects, events and texts we believe have cultural significance in heritage institutions such as museums, archives and libraries. Similarly, we protect buildings or places of significance, and construct memorials to commemorate events or people. Not only do heritage activities preserve cultural items, they actively help to define and create culture. They do this in two main ways. First, they select which items, from the vast array of items, places and events that figure in daily life, should be taken to 'officially' represent the culture. Secondly, they often exhibit these items in such a way that their cultural significance, or individual meaning, is emphasised, extended or reinterpreted.
The arts - Another area of life focused on generating, expressing and interpreting cultural and personal meaning is the arts (i.e. visual arts, poetry, film, music, dance, drama, creative writing, and so on). One aspect of the work of many professional artists is their exploration and expression of personal and cultural symbolism. Dance, music, design, fashion and communication styles are potent carriers of cultural symbolism. They help to define and interpret the nature of our broader culture and of particular subcultures (youth culture, popular culture, Indigenous culture, etc). Finally, the arts often reflect our culture in such a way that it can be critically examined or challenged.
In the past, the arts have been associated with other interpretations of the term culture. One of these interpretations related to the idea that human nature could be refined and improved (or 'cultured' in the agricultural sense), and that particular forms of art, music and literature were instrumental in this process. This interpretation tended to elevate some artistic forms (i.e. classical music, literature and fine arts) above others. While there is some residual association of these artistic forms with elitism today, the term 'arts' has widened to embrace a range of forms of artistic expression, including forms such as graffiti, folk art, jazz and popular music. Other theoretical approaches to the arts, such as that taken by liberal humanists in the late 1800s and the ancient Greeks, have propounded the capacity of the arts to uplift and inspire the human spirit.5
Sports - Sports can be viewed from a cultural perspective as well as in a leisure context. One of the ways people come to understand their own culture is by contrasting it with that of others. Hence cultural diversity and multiculturalism are seen to be socially beneficial and to promote tolerance. However, as well as engendering understanding, cultural difference can give rise to antagonism and competition between groups. In many societies competition between cultures, especially locality based cultures, is expressed peacefully, or symbolically, through games, sports and other competitions. Sporting competition is often associated with overt cultural symbolism (flags, uniforms and sporting colours, national or local songs, etc.). Thus sporting activities, particularly professional sports, tend to have a stronger cultural dimension than many other aspects of life. As an example, displays of cultural identity are a significant aspect of the Olympic games.
Spirituality - Religious and spiritual activity also focus on the sense of meaning we bring to life, and on exploring and perpetuating particular belief systems. Religious or spiritual rituals and ceremonies reinforce cultural and spiritual traditions and pass them on from one generation to the next. Outside organised religion, there are many rituals maintained by each generation that definitively represent or perpetuate our cultural identity, or pass on cultural lessons.
The participation framework summarised in the following diagram is focused on individuals as participants in culture and leisure activities (participants are implicit in the diagram). It recognises that culture and leisure participation arises inherently out of human society, and specifically out of the need and desire to express cultural meaning and to incorporate leisure into life. It also acknowledges that culture and leisure activities both utilise cultural and other resources, and can deliver value to these resources or detract from them in various ways. At a narrower level of focus, the framework identifies different kinds of participation in culture and leisure activities:
It acknowledges that a range of products and events arise from some forms of culture and leisure participation, and allows participation to be analysed in terms of whether or not it involves expenditure.
A CULTURE AND LEISURE PARTICIPATION FRAMEWORK
The demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of individuals as participants are clearly key variables in the analysis of participation. Other key elements of the framework, and their value to analysis are explained below.
Motivating factors can include cultural factors such as belief systems and lifestyles, as well as the need and desire for free time and leisure activity. For example, spiritual belief systems give rise to worship, rituals or pilgrimage activities; the drive to articulate the lifestyles of different groups gives rise to fashion design related activities; aspects of youth subculture give rise to graffiti, which is cultural both in content and method of expression. Such contextual factors motivate people to become participants, and therefore influence the nature and extent of participation. Understanding and measuring the factors motivating individuals to participate in culture or leisure can be particularly important in developing policy to promote, decrease or support participation in different areas of culture and leisure activity.
Resources and outcomes
Resources are defined broadly in the framework to encompass the full range of cultural, human, financial, environmental, social and personal resources and capital utilised in participating in cultural and leisure activities. These resources may include the stock of artefacts held by a museum (as cultural resources) or the public parks or footpaths used by joggers.
Resources play a crucial role in supporting participation in cultural and leisure activities. For example, many cultural and leisure activities cannot occur without appropriate venues and equipment. The existence of recreation venues (e.g. gyms, theatres, art spaces) within a community can also promote and encourage community participation in cultural and leisure activities. Human resources such as those used in coaching, training, administrative support and management are also vital to supporting and encouraging culture and leisure participation. Time is a key resource, and lack of time can be a barrier to culture and leisure participation. Other barriers to participation include transport, cost, or cultural barriers. Measures of resource needs and availability, for particular population groups, can inform policy and program development aimed at encouraging and supporting participation.
Participation in culture and leisure can also have a number of important positive and negative impacts on a community's resources. Cultural and leisure participation has the capacity to generate social capital and to improve the creativity and health of the population. It also has the capacity to generate negative social effects. For example, leisure activity that is strongly associated with substance abuse or crime can impact negatively on a community's human and social resources. Negative outcomes of cultural and leisure participation represent a disinvestment in the community's resources, and may affect the sustainability of the community, of cultural and leisure participation, or of other activity within the community.
Participation in many cultural and leisure activities will simultaneously have both negative and positive impacts on resources. For instance, benefits people derive from using Australia's national parks and other wilderness areas must be weighed against the potential for these areas to be harmed, through misuse or overuse. Overuse can also damage cultural resources. For example, fragile documents, art works or artefacts can be damaged if overhandled or displayed under bright lights for long periods.
Positive and negative impacts on resources thus result in positive and negative wellbeing outcomes. Measures of the effect of cultural and leisure participation on the social and economic resources of a community can assist in evaluating the performance of culture and leisure providers and in policy development. Information about the effect of culture and leisure participation on resources can also support optimal management of all resources.
Types of participation
Self contained participation - There are many cultural and leisure activities that are simple and self contained (e.g. going for a walk, playing cards with friends). These activities are created and consumed simultaneously, and often do not involve many people or much preparation. These kinds of activities may not be associated with high levels of expenditure or particular industries, and can often be family or community based. Measures of these activities can inform policies or programs aimed at increasing participation in cultural and leisure activities and understanding levels of wellbeing in the population.
Creative/receptive participation - Many other culture and leisure activities are more complex. They involve more people, more distinct stages, and different kinds of participation. Usually they involve two main kinds of participation: labelled in this framework as 'creative' and 'receptive' participation.
The existence of these two types of participation (creative and receptive) is perhaps most apparent with activities that involve spectators e.g. sporting matches, or theatre productions, where some people are making the event happen, while others are watching it. This distinction is also apparent for activities that give rise to culture and leisure goods. For example, a novelist writes, or creates a book; book publishers become involved in creating the final product; and the public then buys and reads that product. All these activities involve culture and leisure participation, yet are very different in nature and are likely to have different effects and benefits for the people involved. It is thus useful to make a distinction between creative and receptive involvement in culture and leisure activity. Creators and consumers of culture and leisure events or products often have very different characteristics and needs, and their actions have different social and economic implications.
Spending on culture and leisure participation
Culture and leisure participation occurs on a widely ranging scale of formality - reaching from the very informal to the ceremonial. Activities range from a person reading a book on their own, going for a walk in a park with a friend, or playing community based sports at lunch time, to involvement in full scale theatre productions, Olympic games, and cultural events. Within this area people produce things on an intimate level (e.g. food prepared for a dinner party, or baby clothes crocheted for relatives), or for much wider public consumption (e.g. music performances, film screenings, books). Sometimes participation is clearly linked to the economy through expenditure or labour. In other cases it lies outside more conventional economic boundaries. Thus a framework of culture and leisure participation needs to cater for both simple and complex activities. Differentiating between self-contained and creative/receptive participation is one way of achieving this. Another is to acknowledge that, while many cultural and leisure activities are clearly part of the economy, there are some important cultural and leisure activities that are not. A further distinction can be made between participation that involves expenditure and participation that does not.
Involves expenditure - Expenditure occurs where people involved in culture and leisure are paid for their efforts, or have some expectation of receiving remuneration for time spent on the activity (e.g. professional artists or sportspeople, or paid administrators). Consumption of cultural or leisure events or products can also involve expenditure (e.g. where entry fees are paid to view an exhibition, or a book is purchased). Self-contained participation may require some kind of expenditure for it to occur (e.g. where bicycles are hired for a family bike ride, or a sports hall is hired for a community sporting match). In these cases cultural and leisure participation can be seen to be linked to the economy through expenditure. The Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications (ACLC) described below focuses on this economic side of cultural and leisure activity.
Does not involve expenditure - Other cultural and leisure participation does not involve expenditure, for example, playing with children, meeting friends for a social occasion, or gardening. While such activities may not be part of the economy, they are crucial to personal wellbeing.
Measures differentiating between participation that involves expenditure and participation that does not can be useful in examining issues relating to access to cultural and leisure participation or to the valuation or commercialisation of culture and leisure, and can inform research and policy in the areas of health and social capital.
Creative culture and leisure participation, as defined above, generates products or events. Self-contained participation generates events that are simultaneously consumed.
Products - In general terms, a product is a good or a service. A good is a tangible, material item, that can exist independently of the people who produced it. Within the participation framework, goods can range from children's craft efforts to professional art works. Thus products may be cakes, jewellery, films, guitars, prints, poems, sculptures, songs, and so on. cultural and leisure services can range from those associated with events (described below) to services provided by librarians, museum curators, sports coaches, etc.
Events - An event is generated when an individual goes for a walk, watches television or plays with a pet. On a larger scale, events can include sports carnivals, matches or races, music or theatre performances, film screenings, fashion shows, etc. Although it is possible to repeat events, they can not exist independently of the people who produce them. They may be recorded on film, video, or tape, but these recordings are only representations of the event, and are in fact cultural or leisure products.
TIME USE FRAMEWORK
The ABS Time Use Framework provides a comprehensive structure that can be readily applied in the measurement of some aspects of culture and leisure. The Time Use Framework is illustrated and described in Chapter 6 - Work, and one of its chief values is the comparison it allows between different uses of time. That is, time use measures can indicate not only how time is being used, but how time is divided between particular activities, for example, leisure and work. In the case of culture and leisure, this division of time informs a key area of policy interest - the accessibility of leisure time, and the relationship between working hours (both paid and unpaid) and capacity for cultural and leisure participation.
The framework identifies four categories of time.
Necessary time - Includes activities which serve basic physiological needs such as sleeping, eating, personal care, health and hygiene.
Contracted time - Includes paid work and regular education. Activities within this category have explicit or implicit contracts which control the periods of time in which they are performed. These activities, therefore, constrain the distribution of other activities over the rest of the day.
Committed time - Describes activities to which a person has committed him/herself because of previous acts or behaviours or community participation such as having children, setting up a household, or doing voluntary work. The consequent housework, care of children, shopping or provision of help to others are committed activities. In most cases services could be bought to provide the same activity (e.g. an exchange could be made of time for money). Some activities included in this category could potentially be considered leisure activities (e.g. some people consider household activities such as gardening or making furniture to be leisure rather than duty).
Free time - This is the amount of time left when the previous three types of time have been taken out of a person's day. The only way to obtain more free time is for contracts and commitments to be changed or to spend less time on necessary time activities (e.g. sleep less), as the total time available in a day is constant. Within the Time Use Activity Classification, free time is further divided into categories 'social and community interaction' and 'recreation and leisure'.6
Time Use Activity Classification
As described in Chapter 6, the Time Use Framework is supported by an activity classification that allows a comprehensive range of activities to be mapped according to time spent on them. The Activity Classification is a hierarchical classification, structured into three levels of detail, which describe what people do with the twenty four hours of the day. Supporting information, regarding whom the activity is done for, whom the activity is done with, and the location of the activity, further describes the way in which people use their time, and completes the Time Use Framework.
CULTURE AND LEISURE TRANSACTIONS
Culture and leisure related transactions are undertaken on a daily basis by people seeking to enhance their own wellbeing, or that of their family or community. Some of the most important culture and leisure transactions take place within families. For example, the emotional sustenance provided by parents playing with their children, may be as important to the wellbeing of children as food. Families arrange to spend leisure time together and organise family celebrations partly in order to maintain and enhance the family ties and networks that can be called upon in times of trouble. Involvement in culture and leisure activity also allows individuals to maintain and extend their connection to the wider community, and build networks of support. Culture and leisure events are often organised specifically in order to create or enhance community cohesion.
Governments are also involved in culture and leisure transactions that influence the wellbeing of society. They put resources into establishing community venues and facilities where creative and sporting activities can take place. They also play the role of custodians of national and local cultural heritage through building and funding museums, libraries and archives, and legislating for the protection of important wilderness areas. Sporting activity is also supported by governments. When individuals make use of these facilities and take part in cultural events, they are completing the social exchange initiated by governments. Some examples of culture and leisure transactions are shown in the diagram below.
THE AUSTRALIAN CULTURE AND LEISURE CLASSIFICATIONS
The Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications (ACLC) comprise three components: an industry classification, an occupation classification, and a product (goods and services) classification. These classifications are outlined below. The Time Use Classification outlined above is not part of the ACLC suite of classifications as it has its own conceptual basis. The differences between the scope of the ACLC and the free time component of the Time Use Activity Classification are described in the ACLC publication, Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, (Cat. no. 4902.0), which also provides a more detailed description of the ACLC.
The Industry Classification comprises industries consisting of organisations for which the main activity is the production or provision of culture and leisure goods and services. All types of business entities are included, such as commercial and subsidised organisations, government agencies, non-profit institutions and associations, individuals undertaking business activities, etc. The ACLC Industry Classification aligns, where possible, with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).
The ACLC Industry Classification is structured hierarchically, in a manner similar to many other classifications developed by the ABS. It has three levels of classification: divisions, groups and classes. Each class contains a definition, a list of primary activities and a list of exclusions. A summary is provided below.
The Product Classification consists of a list of culture and leisure goods and services (together known as products). These products are the primary outputs of the industries listed in the ACLC Industry Classification; in addition, they may be also produced by other industries (for example, museum services may be provided by a business unit in the mining industry). The ACLC Product Classification fits broadly within the framework of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Product Classification (ANZSPC). The products included in the ACLC Product Classification are grouped into 26 broad groups shown below and 227 classes. A summary is provided below.
The ACLC Occupation Classification, based on the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO), lists occupations that are predominantly culture or leisure in nature, or that are predominantly found in culture or leisure industries. Because of the way ASCO groups some occupations, the ACLC Occupation Classification includes most, but not all, jobs associated with culture and leisure. Also, while it allows for classification of 'paid jobs' and 'unpaid work', the ACLC Occupation Classification is not designed to classify participation in personal hobbies or recreation activities. The ACLC Occupation Classification contains 159 occupation classes, organised by the nine major ASCO groups. The major ASCO groups are shown below with some examples of ACLC occupation groups.
Key measures used within the culture and leisure area are described below.
Participation and attendance measures - A valuable way of quantifying the extent of involvement in culture and leisure activities is by measuring either participation or attendance. Attendance can be measured for culture and leisure venues (e.g. museums, botanic gardens, libraries, music venues, theatres, and cinemas), cultural or leisure events such as festivals (e.g. of arts, crafts, music, etc.), or sports events (e.g. football, cricket, tennis, basketball and horse racing). Often both attendance and participation need to be measured in order to get a full picture of involvement. For example, people may both attend and participate in a music festival, and different personal, social and economic implications are associated with each kind of involvement. Information can be enhanced by information on frequency of attendance or participation, duration of activity, cost of involvement, and the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of those attending or participating.
Work measures - Quantifying the amount and value of work done in the culture and leisure sectors provides a valuable perspective on the contribution of culture and leisure to the community and economy and can highlight areas where support may be needed. There are some issues involved in providing comprehensive measures of work in this area. A certain proportion of people working in this sector work unpaid (e.g. where time and effort is volunteered for a community theatre production), or with the expectation of payment that may or may not be realised (e.g. where an author writes with the expectation of having their work published, but with no guarantee). This work will thus not necessarily be recognised in income estimates, or information about paid work. Where people do have paid employment in the sector, this may not be their main job in terms of income generation, and sources that do not collect data about second jobs may underestimate the extent of employment in the sector.
Time use measures - Time use surveys record the average time spent during the day (in hours/minutes) on a range of activities which, when taken together account for the full twenty four hours (see also the Time Use Framework described above).
Expenditure and output measures - Private and public expenditure on culture and leisure goods, services and activities is a key measure in evaluating developments. Typical areas of expenditure measurement include the extent to which cultural and leisure activities are funded by governments and businesses through donations or sponsorships; household expenditure on culture and leisure; and the income and expenditure of organisations providing culture and leisure goods and services to people. The ABS classification of expenditure items used in the Household Expenditure Survey includes expenditure on culture and leisure goods and services. Measures of the type and number of culture and leisure items produced by particular individuals or industries, and the value of items, can provide useful indicators of the output of the culture and leisure sectors. Measures of items purchased, and explanatory information about where and by whom they were purchased, can similarly provide information to those wishing to understand trends in the sector.
Other measures - Collections in the culture and leisure area have, at various times adopted a range of lists in the production of outputs including lists of types of sports and physical activities people participate in, selected cultural venues people visit, and type of sporting involvement (e.g. as player or participant, coach, referee, committee member, etc.).
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