Old boys still in charge of creative industries (shocking nobody)

A new report declares a lack of social mobility and and huge dominance of upper middle class people in creative industries. And the people at the top – mostly well-paid, middle-class white men – are least likely to see it.

The conclusion that the creatve industries far from echo the general U.K. population was reached in a new report, billed as the first sociological study on social mobility in the cultural industries, reports The Guardian and others.

The report, called “Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries” demonstrates that women, those from working class origins, and those from minority backgrounds, are often excluded from many creative industries. “This may not come as a huge surprise to many, with diversity being a much-discussed topic across the arts in recent years,” the Creative Review reports, continuing:

“What is more insightful is how the report analyses the dynamics of social mobility in the cultural sector, and offers insights into how the tastes, values and political views are often different from the rest of society. Cultural workers are shown to be socially exclusive, for example, tending to mainly know other creatives, to the exclusion of many other occupations. They come from disproportionately economically privileged backgrounds, and have the most liberal and left-wing politics of any occupational sector.”

‘If you think the creative industries should speak for a nation or a community then this report raises big questions,’ says Dr David O’Brien, one of its three lead authors, to Frieze.

Dr O’Brien told Rhinegold Publishing that their analysis “suggests that arts and media workers need to better understand the role of privilege in the formation of cultural tastes and success in creative employment, so that their industries can become more in touch with the rest of the population.”

The Panic report is a follow-up to research published in 2015, has been released by Create London and Arts Emergency, a charity set up to challenge the “old boys’ network” in the creative industries.


Create London

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

As this report will demonstrate, the cultural and creative industries are marked by
significant inequalities;

Creative Revue

New report delivers damning verdict on social mobility in creative sector

Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries is a new paper examining social mobility in the arts. Its results make for depressing reading. We talk to lead author, Dr Dave O’Brien, about its key issues.


New paper highlights lack of social mobility in creative industries

Drawing on evidence from the 2015 survey Panic!, the paper suggests that this is in part because cultural workers tend to be socially exclusive: they mainly know other creatives, to the exclusion of other occupations.

The Guardian

Arts industry report asks: where are all the working-class people?

Film, broadcasting, publishing and performing sectors nowhere near representative of UK


Survey Shows Extent of Class Divide in Creative Industries

A new report suggests that women, people from working-class backgrounds and BAME workers all face significant exclusion