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UK study explores class imbalances in the creative industries


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A report published by the UK’s Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre yesterday suggests that more needs to be done to open up these industries – music included – to people from working-class backgrounds.

“Echoing wider research, we find widespread and persistent class imbalances. Those from privileged backgrounds are more than twice as likely to land a job in a creative occupation,” explains its executive summary. “They dominate key creative roles in the sector, shaping what goes on stage, page and screen.”

The study divides people into three groups: people from ‘privileged’ backgrounds, ‘intermediate’ backgrounds and ‘working-class’ backgrounds, based on their parents’ employment history.

The music, performing and visual arts industries are grouped together in one category, with the report claiming that 57% of people working in these sectors in 2019 came from privileged backgrounds, 32% from intermediate backgrounds, and just 12% from working-class backgrounds.

Also concerning are the trends: in 2014 these percentages were 51%, 31% and 17% respectively. There’s much more in the report and this blog post from one of its authors, Heather Carey.

Stuart Dredge

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