This chapter establishes the principal themes and the modes of enquiry used to explore how the architecture of the past is described. It begins with a discussion of the concept of ekphrasis and goes on to consider the relationship between text and image. Key figures including Winckelmann, Lessing, de Piles and Berkeley are introduced. Using Walter Benjamin, the particular qualities of prints are explored.
This chapter begins by thinking about the spaces of the page and the bodily experience of reading. The relationship between seeing and knowing is explored using the eighteenth-century ideas of Bishop Berkeley articulated through more recent thinking by Derrida and Merleau-Ponty. Theories of space and its representation through the illusion of perspective are traced from antiquity in relation to their influence on artistic practice. The chapter goes on to question what happens when theories of perspective and architectural practice collide, as evident in the work of Borromini, Pozzo and Robert Adam. The distinctive theories and practice of perspective in the long eighteenth century, especially the work of Dr Brook Taylor and Thomas Malton are examined in their contemporary context, including the parallel developments in literature, where the physio-psychological experience of space emerges as a popular preoccupation. The final section considers the historiographic implications for the perceived gap between the representation of space in architectural and artistic practice. It concludes with a consideration of J. M. W. Turner’s Royal Academy lecture diagrams as inheritors of a rich tradition of spatial thinking and perspective theory.
Using the trope of the line, this chapter considers the relationship between prints and drawings and the embodied processes in their production. The ways in which the line operates as a means of verbal and visual ekphrasis is explored through the anachronistic juxtaposition of renaissance and eighteenth-century theories of drawing and Deleuzian–Bergsonian and Benjaminian theories of lines and images. The feminine trace is revealed in Hogarth’s ‘line of beauty’ and this gendered notion of recording the past is extended into the case study of the rediscovery of the Villa of the Papyri, which remains underground and unseen. Here the Derridean idea of drawings as being an act of blindness is combined with the bodily experience of space.
The conclusion draws together the overall themes of the book, looking at individual experiences of inequality, the problem of shared experiences that obscure structural inequalities, and the long-term and long-standing nature of inequalities. The conclusion defends the book’s project of making inequalities visible in order to tailor appropriate solutions. Making inequality visible suggests the need to develop appropriate theories of inequality and culture. The book concludes by thinking through what strong and weak theories of culture and inequality might look like, and what solutions they might suggest to the problems we have made visible in our analysis. Ultimately the conclusion restates the value of culture, and the need to challenge inequality so that everyone can experience the way that culture is good for you.
Art and culture are supposed to bring society together. Culture is bad for you challenges the received wisdom that culture is good for us. It does this by demonstrating who makes who and consumes culture are marked by significant inequalities and social divisions. The book combines the first large-scale study of social mobility into cultural and creative jobs, hundreds of interviews with creative workers, and a detailed analysis of secondary datasets. The book shows how unpaid work is endemic to the cultural occupations, excluding those without money and contacts. It explores unequal access to cultural education and demonstrates the importance of culture in childhood. The book looks at gender inequalities, analysing key moments when women leave cultural occupations, while men go on to senior roles. Culture is bad for you also theorises the mechanisms underpinning the long-term and long-standing class crisis in cultural occupations. In doing so it highlights the experiences of working-class origin women of colour as central to how we understand inequality. Addressing the intersections between social mobility, ethnicity, and gender, the book argues that the creative sector needs to change. At the moment cultural occupations strengthen social inequalities, rather than supporting social justice. It is only then that everyone in society will be able to say that culture is good for you.
Cultural occupations have long-standing problems associated with a lack of social mobility. This chapter explains how those problems are experienced by cultural workers. In doing so it shows some of the mechanisms by which exclusions operate. The chapter introduces academic critiques of the idea of social mobility, linking them to the way particular individuals and communities are given value in cultural occupations. The chapter outlines the idea of embodied cultural resources, or capitals, along with the ‘norm’ of the White, middle-class male, in cultural occupations. This somatic norm helps to explain the negative experiences of cultural workers who are not White, middle-class origin men. The chapter highlights the experiences of socially mobile women of colour, a group who are most likely to face marginalisation and discrimination. In doing so the chapter shows the powerful underlying mechanisms preventing change in cultural occupations.
We usually think of culture as a good thing. Arts organisations and governments tell us that culture has a range of benefits for individuals and for societies. This is in addition to the value of culture for its own sake. However, culture is closely related to a range of social inequalities. There are inequalities in the workforce for cultural occupations. There are inequalities in the audiences for arts and culture. Culture also plays an important role in relation to how social inequality reproduces itself. This chapter introduces the book, its core argument and themes, and structure. It shows the importance of studying cultural occupations, as a framework for understanding culture and inequality. It also highlights the relationship between the workforce and the audience, demonstrating the consequences of the barriers to diverse and equal representation that is central to the analysis in the rest of the chapters.
There are many ways that culture is good for individuals and for society. It has positive effects on health, on education, on places, and on communities. Culture has value in and of itself, irrespective of its impact on social or economic issues. The good culture can do is a key reason for cultural workers’ commitment to cultural occupations, as well as central to much government and organisational policy. This chapter looks at the ways culture is good for us, drawing on recent policy and research documents. The chapter complements the analysis of policy and research with interview data from cultural workers. By making the case that culture is good for you, the chapter introduces the problem of inequality that is the subject of the rest of the book. Inequalities in production and in consumption mean that, sadly, culture is only good for narrow and closed sections of society.
Money matters. Chapter 6 analyses the role of economic resources, economic capital, in access to cultural jobs. It focuses on experiences of unpaid work. Unpaid work seems to be endemic to cultural occupations, both as a route to getting in and getting on. Part of the reason cultural workers are willing to put up with low and no pay for their labour are the joys and pleasures that come from cultural work. At the same time, the chapter shows how what seems to be a shared experience of cultural work is important to keeping low and no pay a type of norm for cultural occupations. In fact, the shared experience is stratified by age and by class. Class and age reveal very different experiences of unpaid work. Older creative workers were much more likely to have the creative freedom described by their younger, middle-class origin, colleagues. Middle-class origin younger people experienced positive aspects of unpaid work. For those with the right sorts of resources associated with middle-class origins, it gave them creative freedom, as well as routes into high-profile work. For those without such resources it was often just exploitation.
Media and policy discussions sometimes make it seem as if there was a golden age for social mobility into cultural occupations. This chapter interrogates that idea. It shows how social mobility has been a long-standing problem for cultural occupations. First the chapter discusses the key theories of social mobility, differentiating the academic and policy uses of the term. It then uses the ONS-LS dataset to track social mobility into cultural occupations over time. In the early 1980s someone from a middle-class origin had about four times the odds of entering a cultural job, as compared with working-class origin people. These chances were almost the same in the early 2010s. The static rates of social mobility into cultural jobs suggests three things. First, that cultural occupations share some social mobility issues that are common in other elite professions. Second, that rather than things getting worse in recent years cultural occupations have perhaps always been exclusive and exclusionary. Third, there is a clear need to understand the mechanisms driving this long-standing problem.