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The Age of Culture Paperback – 26 May 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Rock's Mills Press (26 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988129329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988129320
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,439,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

D. Paul Schafer has worked in the cultural field for more than four decades as an educator, advisor, administrator, and researcher. He was Assistant Director of the Ontario Arts Council from 1967 to 1970, a founder and Director of York University's Programme in Arts and Media Administration from 1970 to 1974, and Coordinator of the Cooperative Programme in Arts Administration and the Cooperative Programme in International Development at the University of Toronto from 1984 to 1990. He has taught arts administration and cultural policy at York University and the University of Toronto, executed a number of projects for Canada's Department of External Affairs, and undertaken several advisory missions for UNESCO to different parts of the world. He was originally trained as an economist, and taught economics at Dalhousie University and Acadia University before entering the cultural field, specializing in international development, principles of economics, and the history of economic thought.

Paul is the author of many books and articles on culture and the arts in general and Canadian culture and the arts in Canada in particular, including most recently The Age of Culture (Rock's Mills Press, 2014). Earlier works include Revolution or Renaissance: Making the Transition from an Economic Age to a Cultural Age (University of Ottawa Press); Culture: Beacon of the Future (Greenwood Publishing); Aspects of Canadian Cultural Policy (UNESCO); Culture and Politics in Canada: Towards a Culture for All Canadians (World Culture Project); Review of Federal Policies for the Arts in Canada: 1944-1988 (in conjunction with André Fortier; Canadian Conference of the Arts); A New System of Politics: Government, Governance, and Political Decision-making in the Twenty-first Century (World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution); Culture and Customs of Canada (Greenwood Publishing Group, World Cultures Today Online); and Arguments for the Arts (Arts Scarborough). Revolution or Renaissance was translated into Chinese and published by the Social Sciences Academic Press in China in 2006; the Press also translated and published his earlier work Culture: Beacon of the Future in 2008.

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About the Author

D. Paul Schafer has worked in the cultural field for five decades as an author, advisor, educator, and researcher. He has taught at York University and the University of Toronto, undertaken a number of missions for UNESCO, and is director of the World Culture Project, whose website can be found at www3.sympatico.ca/dpaulschafer. His previous books include Culture: Beacon of the Future (1998) and Revolution or Renaissance: Making the Transition from an Economic Age to a Cultural Age (2008). He lives and works in Markham, Ontario.

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Format: Paperback
ENDORSEMENT OF ‘THE AGE OF CULTURE’

In this visionary book, Paul Schafer makes a compelling case for a new approach to global development. He argues that culture in all of its many forms needs to be brought into balance with the longstanding economic imperatives of products and profits that have for so long preoccupied the citizens of Planet Earth. He proposes that we need to achieve an equilibrium between the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of life. He states that “this would require a fundamental change in our beliefs, behaviour, customs, actions and lifestyles such as placing a higher value on people and values”.

In advancing his bold proposition for a more caring, sharing, creative and sustainable world, Schafer reflects on his own personal history of encountering cultural influences at an early age. His childhood exposure to and experiences with artistic culture make a powerful case that every child should have access to a comprehensive education in the arts.To have been encouraged as a child to participate in a wide range of artistic expressions shaped his life and his profound belief in the need for a paradigm shift.

We are living at a time when growing importance is being placed on creativity and innovation. This book suggests the positive lasting impact that could emerge from investing in arts education as the foundation for the stimulation of the creativity which exists in all of us. I have no doubt that before long a more culturally literate population will become powerful advocates for the necessity of a transition to the “Age of Culture” which Paul Schafer has so persuasively proposed.

JOHN HOBDAY C.M. Former Director, Canada Council for the Arts. Currently, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning.
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Format: Paperback
Following up on the insights of his most recent book, Revolution or Renaissance, Paul Schafer has written a personal manifesto which he reflects his long engagement with arts and culture and his vision of what he believes to be a coming transformation, the arrival of a new world order. While the book abundantly cites experts in the field of economics and culture, it is the integration of these in the author's life story that makes it most compelling. We might also observe, that the use of one's personal story is one of the building blocks of the new cultural age that he goes on to describe.

Before coming to the world of culture, the author worked extensively as a professor of economics, which qualifies him to comment on how the world is currently shaped by economic theory and practice. The trick was to bring forth the richness of his cultural upbringing, with significant familial emphasis on the arts, and his abiding interest in them and interface this with the mechanics of capital. His economic savvy enables him to identify the problematical thinking and implementation of economic policy that has led the world to a very dangerous state, dominated by a philosophy of consumerism that bodes disaster by gutting our inner and outer ecology, both the energies of the human spirit as well as the resources of the earth on which we walk.

Is Schafer's vision too utopian? Even admitting this, one might add, "Of course, but isn't this what utopias are for, namely to make us reflect on the current state of our society, its direction and our the roles we play that may influence it.” We are faced with the juggernaut of integrated economic power and political posturing that have us swallowing their story, hook line and sinker.
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Format: Paperback
Schafer's work is completely unique. he is the only writer today, of whom I am aware, who combines together culture and economics in a way in which the former subsumes the latter. he therefore turns Marxism on its head. Moreover. He does such in a way in which it becomes completely apparent that he is an economist by background, who has now become culturally wiser. This is is really a book that follows the signs of our times.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
ENDORSEMENT OF ‘THE AGE OF CULTURE’ 15 Sept. 2014
By REDHILL - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
ENDORSEMENT OF ‘THE AGE OF CULTURE’

In this visionary book, Paul Schafer makes a compelling case for a new approach to global development. He argues that culture in all of its many forms needs to be brought into balance with the longstanding economic imperatives of products and profits that have for so long preoccupied the citizens of Planet Earth. He proposes that we need to achieve an equilibrium between the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of life. He states that “this would require a fundamental change in our beliefs, behaviour, customs, actions and lifestyles such as placing a higher value on people and values”.

In advancing his bold proposition for a more caring, sharing, creative and sustainable world, Schafer reflects on his own personal history of encountering cultural influences at an early age. His childhood exposure to and experiences with artistic culture make a powerful case that every child should have access to a comprehensive education in the arts.To have been encouraged as a child to participate in a wide range of artistic expressions shaped his life and his profound belief in the need for a paradigm shift.

We are living at a time when growing importance is being placed on creativity and innovation.This book suggests the positive lasting impact that could emerge from investing in arts education as the foundation for the stimulation of the creativity which exists in all of us. I have no doubt that before long a more culturally literate population will become powerful advocates for the necessity of a transition to the “Age of Culture” which Paul Schafer has so persuasively proposed.

JOHN HOBDAY C.M. Former Director, Canada Council for the Arts. Currently, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Strong arguments for culture from a voice of experience 2 July 2014
By IGCAT - International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book inspires passion and a great deal of soul searching as to how and where culture and arts got lost in their importance in today's society.

The exceptional author, Dr. Paul Schafer, has provided with this book a practical guide to bring culture back into an age and a world that makes it possible for all people and all countries to enjoy reasonable standards of living, without straining the environment, using culture as the principle pillar.

Drawing from both personal experiences and academic observations, Mr. Schafer outlines why the cultural age is both necessary and how it can be achieved.

In reading this book you too will be convinced that the arts are capable of providing the foundations for a cultural age. A must for policy-makers at all levels!!!

It is also a must for arts educators as it demonstrates how exposure to the arts during youth is an investment that yields myriad benefits throughout life. Not least, the arts provide excellent vehicles for developing communication skills and abilities but also, the arts are excellent vehicles for expressing our emotions and feelings. This in turn makes us more balanced within ourselves as well as more in tune with the world.

Mr. Schafer is derisive of consumption models based on obsolescence and material waste, and makes the point that culture and the arts are needed as a counter-balance not just for people's well-being but for the planets well-being. The use of arts and culture as tools to foster our awareness and appreciation of nature will be crucial if we hope to reduce the huge ecological footprint we are making on the natural environment.

One point he makes that real rings home is that fostering respect or understanding for any country, culture, religion or civilization is impossible without exposure to and familiarity with the works of their artists and humanists. A review of cultural diplomacy is needed!

And, thinking about disenchanted youth of today.... bringing back culture as cultivation he argues, would be the best "antidote against vice and boredom, as well as the most effective vehicle for ensuring civility, order, refinement, manners and taste."(p.51)

A great read and inspiring book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Cultivating the culturescape 8 Jun. 2014
By George F. Simons - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Following up on the insights of his most recent book, Revolution or Renaissance, Paul Schafer has written a personal manifesto which he reflects his long engagement with arts and culture and his vision of what he believes to be a coming transformation, the arrival of a new world order. While the book abundantly cites experts in the field of economics and culture, it is the integration of these in the author's life story that makes it most compelling. We might also observe, that the use of one's personal story is one of the building blocks of the new cultural age that he goes on to describe.

Before coming to the world of culture, the author worked extensively as a professor of economics, which qualifies him to comment on how the world is currently shaped by economic theory and practice. The trick was to bring forth the richness of his cultural upbringing, with significant familial emphasis on the arts, and his abiding interest in them and interface this with the mechanics of capital. His economic savvy enables him to identify the problematical thinking and implementation of economic policy that has led the world to a very dangerous state, dominated by a philosophy of consumerism that bodes disaster by gutting our inner and outer ecology, both the energies of the human spirit as well as the resources of the earth on which we walk.

Is Schafer's vision too utopian? Even admitting this, one might add, "Of course, but isn't this what utopias are for, namely to make us reflect on the current state of our society, its direction and our the roles we play that may influence it.” We are faced with the juggernaut of integrated economic power and political posturing that have us swallowing their story, hook line and sinker. That means that insight must come by raising new perspectives and pointing out where the well-placed insertion of a lever may move the world we know. Leonard Cohen once sang, "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.” The trick of course is to identify where the cracks are and discover where and how to widen them to focus the spotlight on human happiness and creativity.

A great deal of the book has to do with why this transformation of society needs to take place. It tries to connect on a variety of levels from everyday insights to both contemporary and perennial spirituality and that enable us to see the world and our illusions about it for what they are.

How does one move from the dominating world order we know toward radically different future. How do we shift from the positivistic values system underwriting the current economy of markets and minds to a "literary, intellectual, (artistic humanistic) values system"? To let the light in, Schafer provides us with a model of the monopoly exercised by the "Present World Order and Dominant Value System", which deals with the arts either by seducing them into its service or marginalizing them. He compares it to "The Future World Order and Emerging Value System."

It is of the nature of art to produce the maximum effect with the minimum of resources. This points toward the attitude and practice desperately needed by our faltering ecology. Art has a unique capacity to speak directly to our whole being and tie our past, present and future together in a way that enhances our belonging and our solidarity. It's hard to argue with the holistic power of a drama, a poem, or a symphony that we share. Culture has many tangible manifestations that make up the context, the "container" in which we live together. It helps us create an understanding of the world and take the steps we need to change it in a benevolent fashion.

A change in world orders is quite an elephant to ingest, so where do we take the first bite. As not to leave us in wishful thinking, the author proposes a concrete agenda, namely the creation and cultivation of a “culturescape,” a landscape, as it were, a map of the cultural realities of the streets where we live. In introducing this concept Schafer compares our human community to a shattered mirror where each person has a piece large enough only to see his or her own reflection. For him the culturescape is a way of putting these pieces back together again, allowing us to make a cultural inventory that supports this community awareness.

Superimposing the diverse visions of individuals and groups we make visible what tends to be buried in the current world order, and we can see different potentials for human development. It is not science and surplus that provide the raw material for artistic endeavor, but the evolution of the human spirit’s aspiration for a higher form of life and our search for meaning. It is the conservation of the products of this aspiration, in all their diversity, that grounds us and urges us forward, not a global melding. Ars gratia humanitatis.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Should be standard text in schools 22 July 2014
By Sheila Jans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Paul Schafer's "The Age of Culture" should be a standard text in our high schools. Let's also put it in the hands of university students and professionals of economics, community development, ecology, spirituality, human relations, let alone the arts, humanities, and cultural field. This thoughtful and beautifully written book ushers us into our world - this very world in which we live in right now - that vibrates and radiates with varied shapes, sounds, textures, and colours. Schafer brilliantly positions the raw and pure nature of art and culture, its beauty and transcendence, alongside its significance as a driving force for building prosperity and better places to live. I'm grateful for the depth of the "The Age of Culture." Schafer strikes the right balance of scholarly reference with his own progressive theories. He invites us to consider the value of looking through a more holisitic lens grounded in arts and culture to build a better place to live.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
New perspective on culture! 9 Sept. 2014
By Tony Saadat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an inspiring book . The author encourages us to consider the value of arts and culture to build a better world to live. It is an evidence to how the importance of culture and arts got lost in our society.

This topic is stimulating as it examines the nature and role of culture in the modern world. Dr Schafer explains how greed is the source of the current governmental and economic dysfunction.

Dr. Schafer has worked extensively as a professor of economics. As a result, he has outlined why the cultural age is necessary and how it can be achieved from both personal experiences and academic observations. Therefore, this is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of this important topic.

The breadth of the knowledge the author draws on is impressive. I recommend the book highly.
- Tony Saadat, President & CEO of Soutron Global
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