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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: Art, Culture and Inequality (HIAR10164)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces and interrogates the relationship between art, culture and social inequality. It is structured as a series of weekly two hour seminars. Seminars will be delivered via a mixture of explanatory lectures, connecting History of Art with the broader issues of art, culture and inequality; presentations and student-led discussion; and weekly reading related content. There will be a focus on a different element of this area each week, for example work and labour markets, consumption and audiences, social mobility, social attitudes, and meritocracy.
Course description Social inequality is a longstanding issue of concern for a range of social science disciplines. However, the relationship between culture and social inequality has only recently emerged as an important area of interdisciplinary interest. Most notably, the relationship between the arts, broadly defined, and the reproduction of social inequality has now become a question for disciplines such as History of Art. In this context, the course asks questions as to the role of the arts and the cultural sector in the maintenance and continuation of social inequality, along with the role of social inequality in shaping arts and cultural practice. The course will connect inequalities of production, for example theories and case studies of cultural work (e.g. who makes artworks? What is the relationship between production, consumption and social inequality? How does art and culture relate to core social inequalities of class, gender and ethnicity?) to questions of representation and questions concerning consumption (e.g. who goes to museums? Who has access to cultural value?). By showing the broad patterns of inequality associated with consumption, representation and production, the course aims to give students a critical take on the importance of culture in modern society.

The course content will be explored through a range of resources, including quantitative and qualitative data analysis, as well as text-based and theoretical arguments.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is not open to exchange and visiting students.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 171 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x 2500 word essay 50% - submitted weeks 8-10
1 24 hour online exam 50%
Feedback Students are given feedback on formative assessment as follows:

You will be asked to prepare a spoken presentation to deliver to the class, and will be supported to develop this in one-to-one meeting beforehand, and will receive verbal feedback at one-to-one meeting afterwards. The presentation is designed to assist you in developing your understanding and improving your performance for the summative assessment.

Summative assessment: Written feedback on student essays will be provided within 15 days, in addition to a one-to-one meeting.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)24 hour online examination paper0:05
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand key theories of culture and inequality
  2. Critically analyse key case studies on consumption, representation and production
  3. Relate empirical studies of inequality to theories of culture
  4. Present your own ideas clearly and well in writing and in discussion
  5. Prepare and organize your work effectively to deadlines.
Reading List
Brook, O., O'Brien, D. and Taylor, M. (2018) Who is missing from the picture, working papers 1-4 London: Barbican

Conor B, Gill R and Taylor S (2015) Gender and Creative Labour. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Gerber, A. (2017) The Work of Art Stanford: Stanford University Press

Hesmondhalgh D and Baker S (2010) Creative Labour. New York: Routledge.

Saha, A. (2017) Race and the Cultural Industries London: Polity Press

Savage M. (2015) Social Class in the 21st Century. Penguin: London.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical understanding of art, culture and social inequality;
Clear thinking and the development of an argument;
Independent research;
Presentation and communication skills;
Organization and planning.
KeywordsInequality,Cultural Work,Cultural Consumption,Cultural Production,Creative Class.
Course organiserDr Dave O'Brien
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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