The shaping influence of cultural mediators, in particular their legitimizing power, has led cultural scholars to coin them ‘tastemakers,’ ‘gatekeepers,’ ‘surrogate consumers,’ ‘reputational entrepreneurs,’ or even ‘coproducers’ of the work of art. Yet, in practice, mediators perform highly different and often distinct activities according to their particular contributions in the (increasingly) vertically differentiated process of cultural production. This article discusses the various roles and activities of cultural mediators, followed by a review of the role and impact of critics and other mediators in the production and consumption of culture.

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Keywords Arts, Audiences, Critics, Consecration, Culture, Cultural consumption, Cultural field, Cultural intermediaries, Cultural mediators, Legitimation, Reputation, Reviewers
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.10424-6, hdl.handle.net/1765/78003
Note Accepted Manuscript of Janssen, S., & Verboord, M., 2015. Cultural Mediators and Gatekeepers. In: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 5. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 440–446.
Janssen, M.S.S.E, & Verboord, M.N.M. (2015). Cultural Mediators and Gatekeepers. In International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences and Behavioral Sciences. Second Edition (pp. 440–446). doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.10424-6