American segregationists and international racism after civil
When Dylann Roof murdered nine African Americans in a Charleston, South
Carolina church in 2015, he was discovered to be wearing an insignia of the
Rhodesian flag. It also emerged that he had been radicalized by reading
online the materials of the white supremacist Council of Conservative
Citizens, the successor organization to the Citizens’ Councils that had once
fought against desegregation and fostered links to southern Africa. In this
chapter, Zoe Hyman seeks to illuminate that long arc of white supremacist
activism since the 1950s. Rooted in the segregationist activity of
mid-century protest, the focus is on activism in the last third of the
twentieth century by such groups as the American Friends of Rhodesia, which
sought to shore up the illegal state in the 1970s; the American Afrikaner
Union, formed in the 1980s in a fruitless attempt to prevent majority rule
in South Africa; and infamous segregationist groups such as the Citizens’
Council, which morphed into the Council of Conservative Citizens to continue
a more mainstream white supremacist struggle in the US and abroad.
The international links of the Australian far right in the Cold War
Evan Smith discusses how, between the mid-1960s and the early 1990s, the far
right in Australia attempted to place itself within an international
movement that combined white supremacism, anti-communism, and extreme
nationalism. In the 1960s and 1970s, some groups, such as the Australian
League of Rights and the National Front of Australia, were heavily
influenced by the British far right, extolling the virtues of the British
Empire and monarchism, while other groups, such as the National Socialist
Party of Australia and the National Alliance, were more closely aligned with
white supremacist groups in the United States. In the 1980s, new groups,
such as National Action and the Australian Nationalist Movement, attempted
to take influence from both the UK and US, while increasingly inspired by
the Third Positionism of the European far right. These far right groups all
expressed ideological (and sometimes practical) solidarity with white
supremacist regimes in southern Africa, viewing these states as the
frontline of anti-communism and multiracial democracy. This chapter shows
how Australian white nationalism developed in reaction to both the domestic
political and social context and international trends in the era of the Cold
War and decolonization.
Bill Schwarz argues that the revolutionary potential of racial equality
raised as a possibility by decolonization and, in the US, Black Power has
been largely forgotten; yet its significance at the time led to a new
politics of white ethnic populism. Political leaders in the 1960s such as
Enoch Powell and George Wallace helped whites come to imagine themselves as
a defeated people in states they believed were at risk of moral collapse.
Schwarz also considers Mary Whitehouse’s television censorship campaign.
Whitehouse felt that the BBC no longer maintained “clean” standards, and she
compelled conservative white women into activism to compensate for what they
believed was an enervated British government. These new forms of ethnic
populism that dwelled on lost national greatness and the failures of
government to maintain order influenced today’s politics of white
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.