Indicator Development Process

The indicator development process identified what should be measured, and how it should be measured.

What should the indicators measure?

Researchers undertook in-depth interviews with 20 people living in the City of Whittlesea, a culturally diverse area in the northern suburbs of Melbourne with limited access to the cultural infrastructure of the inner-city.

Participants were asked to describe their everyday cultural lives, including what sorts of activities they engaged in, where this took place, and why they did these activities. They were also asked about their identities, their feelings of belonging to the local community, and their involvement with other communities and social networks. These interviews were subject to extensive coding and analysis to identify what kinds of cultural participation mattered most to people's lives, and why they mattered.

Observational research and audience surveys were also conducted at multicultural community festivals, art exhibitions and cultural heritage programs in order to understand the contribution of these government-funded activities to cultural citizenship.

A close analysis of this research data revealed 3 main components of cultural citizenship: cultural participation, capacity and belonging.

How should it be measured?

A questionnaire was developed in order to test these aspects of cultural citizenship. The questions examined areas that are often excluded from government policymaking and cultural measurement.

  • The survey used an expanded definition of cultural participation that reflects the broad experiences of people in diverse communities.
  • The survey extended current studies of social inclusion and access by examining how such inclusion is mobile and dynamic.
  • The survey tests a complex typology of belonging, rather than relying on one-dimensional measures of belonging.

A pilot survey was conducted at a community festival in order to refine the questions and structure of the questionnaire.

The survey used a dual-frame sample methodology (online and face-to-face) in order to reach 486 respondents. The survey used non-probability, purposive sampling rather than random sampling in order to ensure the sample of those born outside Australia could be compared with respondents born in Australia.

The measures and questions for each of the components of cultural citizenship are presented in detail in the indicator framework. A brief snapshot of results from this survey are also available on this website.