Vorming of vermaak?
: De veranderingen in de overheidsbemoeienis met amateurkunstbeoefening in de periode 1945-2020

Translated title of the thesis: Education of entertainment?: The changes in government involvement with the practice of amateur art in the period 1945-2020
  • P.J.J. van der Zant

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    n the Netherlands an estimated 40 percent of the population currently practices one or more art disciplines in their leisure time: making music, singing, dancing, taking artistic photos, acting, painting, sculpting etc. This master’s thesis analyses how the government (both the central government as the municipal and regional governments) interfered with amateur art in the period 1945-2020 and what the arguments were for this interference. These arguments are compared with the motives distinguished in welfare economics for government intervention in a particular social area (based on the theory of collective action, developed by Mancur Olson).
    An analysis of relevant governmental documents shows that many arguments varied, depending on the ministry responsible for amateur art policy, the political composition of the government and especially on the social problems that were at play at the time. The practice of art had, according to the government, favourable consequences for among others the local business climate or the social cohesion in the neighbourhoods. However, other arguments, in particular those focusing on the intrinsic functions of amateur art, such as the contribution to cultural participation and the improvement of the artistic quality of amateur art, kept recurring in government documents.
    From the welfare economics it can be concluded that the arguments to stimulate amateur art after the Second World War were no longer aimed at counteracting negative external effects (as in the first half of the twentieth century, when local governments were concerned about the effects of for instance dancing or amateur theatre on morality), but on the (paternalistic) merit-good motive. Later on, arguments were added that mainly were related to positive external effects, which, however, were difficult to prove. Sometimes there was also an income distribution motive, to encourage poorer people to practice art and thus acquire so called cultural capital. In addition, arguments were used that were related to the motive to generate non-economic values, such as the strengthening of the local identity. The tools of the governments were in line with these shifts in motives.
    Date of Award4 Nov 2021
    Original languageDutch
    SupervisorJanny Bloembergen - Lukkes (Supervisor) & Frank Inklaar (Examiner)


    • amateurkunst
    • cultuurgeschiedenis

    Master's Degree

    • Master Kunst en Cultuurwetenschappen

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