How can contemporary art contribute toward the development of social and cultural capital for people aged 64 and older

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How can contemporary art contribute toward the development of social and cultural capital for people aged 64 and older

This paper aims to examine how art conversations accompanied by guided tours to contemporary art gallery can aid in the development of social capital for individuals who were “culturally inactive”. It also examines whether group discussions about artwork helps to develop social relationships between participants, enhancing relationship between participants and group leaders and connects participants with arts educators and researchers. Similarly, it also examines the advancement of cultural capital in  terms of engagement with contemporary art galleries. This article also aims to hypothesise on the type of qualities contemporary art that makes it a suitable but distinctive stimulus for the development of relationships among these focus groups.

Impromptu narrative was a key factor of the discussion that promoted shifts in participants’ social and cultural capital. Participants not only established relationships with each other, the group leaders, gallery staff and researchers. They have also acquired greater in-depth knowledge and understanding of contemporary art. The research team remained contact with participants, some of whom have become a reference group for further research as well. The linking relationships have the probability of allowing participants to have access to new resources, establish extensive social ties that have demonstrated to a key influence on well-being. Since the initial psychosocial barriers had been scaled down, contemporary art became a “nonspecialized” art form that participants were able to integrate into everyday conversations.

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