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.

Orian Brook, Dave O’Brien and Mark Taylor

my hobby. I’m lucky to have a job that is also my hobby to some extent. I do spend a lot of my spare time doing that. Lauren, a White, middle-class origin woman in her twenties was working in a museum at the time of interview. She told us work was her hobby, and that it reflected her friends who were similarly committed to artistic and cultural occupations. Key theorists of cultural work have noted that while working in occupations that elicit happiness and fulfilment is a good thing, the blurring of life and work, of jobs and hobbies, has potentially

in Culture is bad for you
Abstract only
Settling in
Annedith Schneider

and cultural work coming out the experience of immigration from Turkey. I began by establishing a list of organisations in France that identified themselves as Turkish or Franco-Turkish. Looking primarily at their websites, I determined which organisations seemed to create or support cultural production among their immediate members and the larger community of people with family origins in Turkey. I met with leaders and representatives from these organisations (‘gatekeepers’ in anthropological parlance), who generously took the time to explain yet again the

in Turkish immigration, art and narratives of home in France
Brixton acid and rave
Caspar Melville

can still be understood as embodying a particular response to the racialisation of space. Secondly, we need to trace the pathways by which house had come to London, long before the acid house outburst of 1987. Through import record shops, pirate radio shows and the cultural work of a group of dedi­cated but, during rare groove, somewhat marginalised DJs and sound systems, house music and its practices had been seeding the ground for the rave explosion for several years. The club scene innovated 158 London.indb 158 04/10/2019 12:00:17 From Ibiza to London: Brixton

in It’s a London thing
Revenge and constitutional commentary in the Western
Justin A. Joyce

what was once an ostensibly clearer landscape of equity or justice. I argue, however, that the Western gunslinger is instead a progressive figure, an emblem of the cultural work done in the world by popular culture and of the interrelated evolution of cultural and legal regimes. Simply put, the gunslingers’ means are the ends. The stylistic imperatives of the Western gunslinger’s delivery of justice enact a complex array of normative constraints. I read the cultural work of the Western genre as an emotional or rhetorical thinking-through, an anxious reification, of a

in Gunslinging justice
Carol Chillington Rutter

But there’s a fifth figure who doesn’t make it into the 1615 illustration (or even, except in passing, into this book); a figure who’s as much a ‘precedent’ as the others. She’s Isabella. The wife. The mother. She bears thinking about, not least for her legacy. This chapter, then, gives her Doing Kyd ’s last word, an epilogue that also serves as a prologue for the continuing cultural work that

in Doing Kyd
Theatre and society in nineteenth-century Britain

This book brings together political and cultural historians, theatre and performance scholars, and specialists in the study of popular culture. The essays offer a series of shared and interdisciplinary approaches to the material and conceptual dimensions of ‘performance’ as an analytical category in order to analyse the cultural work of the theatre in the wider realm of public political life in nineteenth-century Britain.

Race, culture and power in the Trinidad ‘Carnival Queen’ beauty competition, 1946–59
Rochelle Rowe

by drawing together the threads of a diffuse discussion of Carnival-refinement, a process which began in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. It identifies Carnival-refinement as the cultural work of contending white and brown nationalisms. Carnival-refinement was replete with its own language of ‘cleaning’, used by the press and by the civic watchmen overseeing improvement strategies. Both arms of this movement preferred to remove, control and replace the ‘coarser’ elements of Carnival with that which was thought to be more desirable. However, brown

in Imagining Caribbean womanhood
Texts, intertexts, and contexts
Maria Holmgren Troy, Elizabeth Kella and Helena Wahlström

cultural work of orphan characters, linked to social and political developments in the USA. We also address ideas of the orphan, childhood, and family, and how these ideas operate in social and academic debates over multiculturalism, the US canon, and national belonging. These contexts are an important basis for our subsequent analyses of orphanhood, kinship, and cultural memory in contemporary American novels featuring ­Native American, Euro-American, and African American ­orphans. Orphans and American literature 11 Orphans, literature, and cultural memory ‘[R

in Making home
Claudia Jones, the West Indian Gazette and the ‘Carnival Queen’ beauty contest in London, 1959–64
Rochelle Rowe

Schwarz and Jones’s biographer Carole Boyce Davies, who has done a great deal to restore Jones to the historical record and bring her writings to light, have provided important analysis of the Gazette and Carnival j 152 J ‘colonisation in reverse’: claudia jones as agents for the creolisation of Britain. Following these inroads, this chapter considers the cultural work of the ‘Carnival Queen’ beauty contest, at first glance an unlikely project for a communist feminist, to affirm black femininity in Britain as a mark of cultural and racial resistance. It examines Jones

in Imagining Caribbean womanhood