23rd March 2023: 12.30pm

Is Culture Bad for You?
Culture will keep you fit and healthy. Culture will bring communities together. Culture will improve your education. This is the message from governments and arts organisations. But this event will highlight the need to be cautious about culture.

Dr. Mark Taylor is one of the authors of Culture Is Bad for You: Inequality in the Cultural and Creative Industries. In this talk, he will discuss some of the ways in which culture is unequal, and the ways that culture reinforces inequalities. Starting with unequal access to cultural events, unequal cultural childhoods are followed by inequalities in the cultural workforce: White men from middle-class backgrounds are the most likely to get cultural jobs. But the inequalities don’t stop once people are already in work, with people from marginalized groups more likely to have negative experiences and less likely to be promoted.

This talk will present the key findings from the book, focusing on the question of how these inequalities have persisted over time in spite of efforts to make access to culture more equal. Drawing on extensive survey work and more than 200 interviews with cultural workers, it will demonstrate the varied pathways through which the most privileged people have been able to ensure that the cultural sector is most welcoming to people who look and sound like themselves. It will also address how these same people use the language of inequalities to reinforce their own positions.

Mark is keen to discuss with participants the themes of the book in the context of contemporary Northern Ireland: are the inequalities in the English context reproduced, and in what ways are they different (or worse)?

Mark is Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Methods at the Sheffield Methos Institute, University of Sheffield. He’s interested in cultural and creative industries, with particular focuses on social inequalities in work and in participation. His background is in sociology, but his research interests are interdisciplinary, across sociology, cultural policy, cultural studies, music, games, and other fields.

His most recent book, with Orian Brook and Dave O’Brien, is Culture is bad for you: Inequality in the cultural and creative industries. He’s also the author of reports on the UK Games Industry and also sits on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s College of Experts.

This event will be introduced and moderated by Dr. Ali FitzGibbon FHEA, Senior Lecturer, Creative & Cultural Industries Management, School of Arts, English and Languages, Queen’s University Belfast.

NB. Please note change of event date.

date & time

date & time

Thur. 23rd March
Duration: 1.5 hours



Graduate School, QUB, University Rd.



Free Admission

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