Report Research

Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries

Date Created: 5th Feb 2019

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The idea of a fair and diverse industry is central to current discussions about cultural and creative jobs. However, as this report will demonstrate, the cultural and creative industries are marked by significant inequalities; in particular, we look at the social class background of the workforce, and how this intersects with other issues, including attitudes and values, experiences of working for free, social networks, and cultural tastes.

Inequality in the arts regularly forms the basis for public discussions about culture in Britain. For example, we have recently seen scandals over gender pay gaps at the BBC; political inquiries about working class representation in the theatre industry; and a wealth of blogging and social media commentary focused on representations of race and ethnicity in the arts.

What is missing is an understanding of the scale of social inequalities, along with a clearer understanding of how these inequalities operate.

This was the starting point for a team of academics from the Universities of Edinburgh and Sheffield who undertook research funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, as part of a scheme to create public impact with academic research on the creative economy. The report creatively visualises data and analysis. Full tables, graphs, and figures are available from the academic papers.

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