Orian Brook
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Who works in culture?
in Culture is bad for you
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Cultural occupations are marked by significant inequalities. This chapter uses data from the Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey and the Longitudinal Study to analyse patterns and trends in the cultural workforce. It shows significant exclusions of women, people of colour, and working-class origin people from key cultural occupations. Overall the workforce is not representative of the rest of society.

Moreover, using a range of other datasets, we see that the workforce in the cultural sector is unrepresentative in a range of other ways. The values and attitudes of the cultural workforce are very different to many other occupations in society. Their social networks reflect contacts with other people in cultural occupations, suggesting social closure of the workforce. Finally, our cultural workers recognise inequalities preventing certain social groups from succeeding. However, they are also committed to hard work and talent, meritocracy, to explaining success. Even where inequalities are recognised, this suggests cultural occupations may be slow to change.

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