Inequality talk: How discourses by senior men reinforce exclusions from creative occupations

Orian Brook, Dave O'Brien, Mark Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Cultural studies has drawn attention to the way that cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are marked by significant inequalities. This paper explores how these inequalities are maintained, through fieldwork with senior men making decisions in CCIs. Drawing on 32 interviews with senior men across a range of CCI occupations, conducted as part of a larger (N=237) project, the analysis shows that misrecognition and outright rejection of inequalities is now not the norm. Rather, ‘inequality talk’ and the recognition of structural barriers for marginalised groups is a dominant discourse. However, individual careers are still explained by gentlemanly tropes and the idea of luck, rather than by reference to structural inequalities. The distance between the discourse of career luck and ‘inequality talk’ helps to explain the persistence of exclusions from the workforce for those who are not white, middle class origin, men. This has important implications for inequalities in cultural production and consumption, and in turn for wider social inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Early online date12 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Dec 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • class
  • cultural and creative industries
  • cultural production
  • gender
  • gentlemen
  • inequality
  • professions


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