• PhD Līga Vinogradova Latvian Academy of Culture, Institute of Arts and Cultural Studies, Latvia



social network analysis, culture network, ecosystem, art worlds, music field, the sociology of arts


The study on the ecosystem of the Latvian music field was carried out within the framework of the CARD project (“the Cultural Capital as a Resource for Sustainable Development of Latvia”) implemented by the Institute of Arts and Cultural Studies of the Latvian Academy of Culture (LAC). One of the tasks of the CARD project was to analyse the cultural ecosystem of Latvia and identify its operator groups, their relationships, and impacts in order to assess the resources of the arts and cultural capital in Latvia [LAC 2020]. Based on initial research, it was suggested to focus on a smaller-scale ecosystem and a specific sub-sector [Laķe, Kunda & Tjarve 2022]. Therefore, this article examines the case of the Latvian music field within the cultural ecosystem of Latvia, as it encompasses a wide range of diverse operator groups. The key theoretical concept used in the research is “ecosystems” – the idea of culture as an ecology that reveals a larger system in a non-hierarchical way [Holden 2015]. In the sociology of art, perceiving culture as a larger system with many equal components is not new; for instance, Howard Becker’s art worlds are based on networks and the distribution of key resources within them [Becker 1974; 1982]. John Holden’s concept of the ecology of culture provides further methodological tools to analyse cultural networks within an ecosystem. The approach suggested by Holden is social network analysis (SNA) [Holden 2015]. While in theory, social network analysis (SNA) holds potential benefits for studying a cultural ecosystem, empirical studies on its application for measuring a cultural ecosystem and its associated limitations remain incomplete. The aim of the paper is to analyse the advantages and limitations of studying a cultural ecosystem using SNA. Two research questions are set: (1) How to analyse the ecosystem of Latvian music field and identify the main operator groups and their relationships? (2) What are the advantages and limitations of employing SNA to study the ecosystem of the Latvian music field? The results contribute to advancing methodological skills in both studying cultural ecosystems and developing SNA in the cultural field.



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