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Culture is Bad for You: Inequality in the Cultural and Creative Industries

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This book tells the story of how Henna’s observation that film, and much of the rest of culture, is not a meritocracy. We find that you’re much more likely to end up working in a cultural job if you grew up in London, and that’s after we take into account the strong associations with parental social class, education, ethnic group, and gender.

The third core argument is that negative aspects of cultural work that seem ubiquitous – for example, periods of working for free and navigating a freelance lifestyle – are in fact experienced very differently by different people, where they can be seen as freeing and exciting for people who are better-resourced and fit the “somatic norm” of a White middle-class man, but crushing inevitabilities for people with less money to fall back on and those who don’t fit that stereotype.

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.

Thus, at times the British public demanded more comprehensive vaccination coverage from the welfare state; at others they eschewed specific vaccines that they thought were dangerous or unnecessary. abstract = "In Culture is Bad for You: Inequality in the Cultural and Creative Industries (Manchester University Press, 2020), authors Orian Brook, Dave O{\textquoteright}Brien and Mark Taylor cut through a Gordian Knot of interconnected and complex factors that create and maintain multiple inequalities within the UK Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs). Then again, what both sectors have in common is that the workforces get more male as jobs get more senior. Q. The usual mainstream assumption is that culture is good for you – that it’s enjoyable, keeps you healthy, socially connected, inspiring etc.The authors use the concept with hesitation, acknowledging that social mobility into creative jobs means ‘mobility’ into low pay and a lack of job security. Banks (2010) points out the contradiction between ‘rational’ capitalism that needs to adapt to ‘contingent’ autonomy to extract value from cultural labour. Arts Emergency is a network working with young people and hooking up those from less privileged backgrounds who wanted to get into arts or creative jobs with mentors.

It was then that I wish I owned some copies of Culture Is Bad for You to distribute in the office the next day. This is the message from governments and arts organisations across the country; however, this book explains why we need to be cautious about culture. A lot of the kinds of policy interventions that would be most effective in confronting inequalities in the cultural sector are broader than the sector itself. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336, VAT Registration Number GB 592 9507 00, and is acknowledged by the UK authorities as a “ Recognised body” which has been granted degree awarding powers.For others, “culture” will mean hanging out with friends, going to gigs in independent venues, going to non-league football matches, or attending religious ceremonies. If students are still expected to go out and do unpaid work, there’s some joining up there that needs to be done.

COVID has exposed and reinforced the longstanding, embedded, structural inequalities that characterise the cultural sector.This is a persuasive book, demonstrating the gentrification of the arts across the past forty years as the opportunities have required more upfront investment from culture-makers. The result is as much a manifesto for change as well as a valuable addition to scholarship countering the {\textquoteleft}celebratory discourse{\textquoteright} in relation to the CCIs over the past 25 years. Of course, this isn’t deterministic: we’re not saying that every single working-class person walking into an opera house will feel uncomfortable and won’t come back. Addressing the intersections between social mobility, ethnicity, and gender, the book argues that the creative sector needs to change.

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