Culture & privilege: Governments and arts organisations claim that culture brings joy to many lives and unites communities. But a new study signals a note of scepticism. Orian Brook, AHRC Creative and Digital Economy Innovation Leadership Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, talks to Laurie Taylor about the mechanism of exclusion in cultural occupations which ensures that women, people of colour, and those from working class backgrounds experience systematic disadvantage in terms of gaining such jobs, in the first place, or progressing within these industries. In addition, only a very small percentage of people in England & Wales ever go to an art gallery, the theatre or opera. Only 60% go to cinemas, even though this is seen as accessible to all. So why do so few people participate in or produce 'culture'?

They’re joined by Dave O’Brien, Chancellor's Fellow in Cultural and Creative Industries at the University of Edinburgh, who asks why people from privileged class backgrounds often misidentify their origins as working class. Drawing on175 interviews with those working in professional and managerial occupations, he finds that such misidentification allows them to tell an upward story of career success ‘against the odds’ that casts their progression as well deserved while erasing the structural privileges that have shaped key moments in their lives.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

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