Understanding Well-being Data

chapter 8 Talking different languages of value

8 Talking different languages of value

Cultural advocacy communicates the values of the cultural sector, often relying on economic valuations, which can feel like a different language. This chapter ‘follows the data’ in a valuation of the culture–well-being relationship. It contextualises why the research was commissioned and the data’s origins: how they were collected, as well as the processes and decisions made in analysing the data. The chapter follows the findings in two ways: discovering changed meanings, when reproduced in media reporting; and discovering different findings, when reproduced by another researcher. The chapter’s step-by-step approach opens the black box of these data processes, asking if data used like this can be impartial? Are there limits to how they progress understanding of well-being in social and cultural policy?