Cultural Economy: Is Culture at the Center of a City’s Economy?

Aburo, B.A., Hayombe, P.O., Odede, F.Z.A. and Agong', S.G. (2020) Cultural Economy: Is Culture at the Center of a City’s Economy? American Journal of Sociological Research 2020, 10(1): 12-21 DOI: 10.5923/j.sociology.20201001.02

Publication type
Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
DOI Title
Cultural Economy: Is Culture at the Center of a City’s Economy?
American Journal of Sociological Research
Published year



Every part of a city’s economy is determined by culture. The only challenge is that conceptualization of culture differs between its users and this is making it difficult for the concept to be assigned an economic value. This study was guided by Planning, Functional and Normative theories adopted from Kevin Lynch work. The study was conducted within Kisumu County (Kenya). Observation and desk review were used as methods for data collection. Being that culture is abroad concept, in this study, the authors try to show case if culture is truly at the center of city economy with special referencing to characteristics of culture. This gives an indication on the role that culture plays in building Kisumu city economy such as creating unique markets and space designs, affecting distribution of goods and services, and expressing power and authority over goods and services. This is show cased through combining characteristics of culture (Culture is organic, Super-Organic; Overt, Covert; Explicit, Implicit; Ideal, Manifest; Stable yet changing; shared, learned; Symbolic) to physical localities (Dunga Beach, Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground, and Ranalo Foods-Kosewe) within Kisumu City. With the connection between characteristics of culture and physical localities in Kisumu city, it is therefore evident that truly, culture is at the center of Kisumu city’s economy and if it is not embraced, it create a collapse to the city’s economy. Future studies needs to interrogate the various forms of culture, and their effect to the city economy.

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