Issue 329: Social class

  • Social class

    A photo of a ballet performance
    18 Nov 2019

    Research suggests that people living in ‘more deprived’ areas are less likely to engage with cultural activity. But is that true across the board, or are there different patterns between – and within – different art forms? Mark Taylor digs deep to find out. 

    Relative to the nation, arts audiences are disproportionately white, middle class, middle aged, and highly educated. But the statistics used to inform this observation tend to be blunt. Just because data suggest that dance performances are an example of this pattern, does it follow that the audiences for classical ballet and contemporary dance are the same as each other?

    Beyond this, we often hear scepticism about the validity of using surveys to find out about audiences in the first... more

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