The Marketing of Tradition: The Value of Culture in American Life



ALTHOUGH THE CONCEPT OF TRADITION is commonplace in social science, it has not received much analytic attention. This paper reviews some of the recent literature on tradition, focusing on two issues: how traditions are created, and their economic and social values. The points raised are illustrated with reference to several instances of tradition making in American high and popular culture and through an extended case study of an urban music festival. The examples reveal the growing relationship between business interests and the creation of cultural traditions, as well as how marketing techniques can create an image of long-standing tradition for what are actually recent innovations, [arts, tradition, economic value, culture, American society]