Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Inequality in the arts: Understanding the production and consumption of culture. (HIAR11107)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) 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 of 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
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  21
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1. A formative written essay plan, including indicative bibliography and outline of case study material 1000 words«br /»
2. A summative written research essay of 4,000 words 100%
Feedback Advice on preparing for the presentations and feedback on essay plans will be provided in advance.
Students will meet with me individually to discuss feedback on seminar presentations and formative versions
of their essay plans and working bibliographies.
The summative essays will be returned to the student within the standard time frame with comments
explaining the mark and with suggestions for future improvement. Students will have the opportunity to meet
with me individually to receive and discuss essay feedback.
No Exam Information
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.
Reading List
Brook, O., O'Brien, D., and Taylor, M. (2020) Culture is bad for you: Inequality in the cultural and creative industries Manchester: Manchester University Press

Banks, P. (2019) Diversity and Philanthropy at African American Museums New York: Routledge

Bottero, W. (2019) A sense of inequality London Roman and Littlefield

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

Lena, J (2019) Entitled: Discriminating Tastes and the expansion of the arts Princet

Meghji, A (2019) Black middle-class Britannia: Identities, repertoires, cultural consumption Manchester, Manchester University Press

Saha, A. (2017) Race and the Cultural Industries London: Polity Press
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Generic cognitive skills:
Students will develop critical analysis, evaluation, and synthesis; identify, conceptualise, and define new and
abstract problems and issues; develop original and creative responses to problems and issues; critically review,
consolidate, and extend knowledge.
Research and enquiry:
Through seminars, in-class activities, and independent research, students will develop highly- honed skills in
research and enquiry to identify and creatively tackle problems, and to seek out opportunities for learning.
Working with others:
Students will exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities and in group
activities; take responsibility for own work; work in a peer relationship with specialist practitioners and fellow
Personal and intellectual autonomy:
Students will use their personal and intellectual autonomy to critically evaluate ideas, evidence and
experiences from an open-minded and reasoned perspective, stimulated by analytical skills developed in close
textual readings and independent research for the summative assignment.
KeywordsArt,Culture,Inequality,Race,Gender,Class,Cultural Consumption,Cultural Production
Course organiserDr Elysia Lechelt
Course secretaryMr Nathan Ross-Hammond
Tel: (0131 6)51 5880
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information