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.
spatial hub around which (or near which)
new housing and communities can be located. In addition parks can contribute
to the urban social-policy agenda more indirectly. From this perspective the
focus is on their economic potential to provide spatial hubs for the location of
new enterprises in the culturalandcreativeindustries. In this aspect they have
the potential to contribute to employment, and thus to urban social-policy goals
indirectly by enabling the generation of incomes for employees and also by
promoting the social welfare and cultural inclusion associated
general study of inequality in society.
Thinking about inequality
Inequality is now an important subject for academic research. Much of this has been driven by economists and sociologists. 25 That work has tended not to look at culturalandcreativeindustries. Cultural and media studies have done extensive research on the subject. We’re aiming to situate our analysis between these fields.
There is extensive, and highly politicised, debate about the nature and extent of inequality. 26 This includes the extent of inequality within countries, as well as between
structural problems. It cautions us to the potential limitations of our critique of inequality in cultural occupations.
As we will see, our senior men are well aware of the structural problems. Even with the best intentions of individuals, structural inequalities are replicated and reproduced. As a result, we need to better theorise the relationship between culture and inequality, and think about how to go beyond just raising awareness of the structures underpinning inequality in cultural occupations.
Unspeakable inequalities in culturalandcreativeindustries
noted in the introduction that much of the work on culturalandcreativeindustries, and their associated occupations, has been shaped by policy definitions. As with the other parts of our analysis in this book, we are using the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) influential definition. DCMS’s well-known formation of creative industries covers nine occupational clusters: advertising and marketing; architecture; crafts; design (product, graphic, and fashion design); film, TV, radio, and photography; IT, software, and computer services; publishing; museums
motivated them to become designers.
This pattern is echoed in writing stories and in playing an instrument. Groups in culturalandcreativeindustries are by far the most likely to have participated. Fifty-eight per cent of people working in artistic or literary jobs wrote as children, compared with just 38% of people working in higher professional jobs. In turn there are big differences between managerial and professional jobs and other sorts of jobs. The fraction of people in routine jobs who wrote stories as children is half of that of those people in higher
We started the book with a comment from Henna. She was talking about her experiences in the film industry. We’re thinking about Henna again as we close the book.
We are going to focus on film and TV to bring together the four themes we’ve discussed in the book. Film and TV also show why looking at occupations is a useful way of understanding inequality in culturalandcreativeindustries.
In the late 1960s the BBC broadcast two episodes of its Man Alive documentary series. These episodes looked at the changing patterns and perceptions of social class in
In these circumstances different regional community interests (using ‘community’ broadly and eclectically) give and gain benefit from different parts of the
institution: industry in research and innovation from science and engineering in
particular; SMEs from these disciplines and from management, business and law;
public policy departments from the social sciences as well as those mentioned
above; culturalandcreativeindustries and activities from the arts and humanities as well as from design and IT; socio-educationally disadvantaged communities seeking wider
who teach the ability to see the form of the space between things as the
key fact in a composition.
Meanwhile another collaborative project was taking place on the
banks of the River Taff in Cardiff. Two film makers from Glamorgan
University’s Faculty of CulturalandCreativeIndustries collaborated in
one case with a performance artist, in the other with a writer, myself,
on a project called In and Between. In each case they were observed by
one or more academic critics; the focus of the project was not so much
the place or the
mobility as a problem for culturalandcreativeindustries
Alongside studies of social mobility between ‘big’ class groups sits research that looks at specific groups of occupations, known as ‘microclass’ mobility. 18 This uses a more detailed, granular level to look at movements into and out of specific occupational groups – such as doctors, lawyers, or teachers.
Microclass mobility is particularly relevant for thinking about cultural and creative workers. It provides a framework for analysing whether specific occupations tend to be more socially exclusive than