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by Dr Christina Scharff

Explaining Inequalities in the Classical Music Profession


Inequalities in the classical music profession have come on the agenda in recent years. In the UK, there have been a range of initiatives that promote women, musicians with disabilities, as well as black and minority-ethnic players.[2] These and other initiatives have been widely discussed; as Chi-Chi Nwanoku recently observed, “The lack of diversity in British orchestras, and the arts in general, is at the forefront of current debates in the UK classical music industry.”[3] However, research suggests that racial, class, and gender inequalities continue to exist in the field of classical music.[4] Female musicians and players from black and minority ethnic as well as working-class backgrounds face several, and potentially intersecting, challenges, ranging from underrepresentation, vertical and horizontal segregation, and pay inequalities to racialised, gendered, and classed constructions of who counts as an ‘ideal’ musician.[5]

These findings raise the question of why inequalities are ongoing, especially if we consider that cultural and creative workers have the most liberal and left-wing views compared to all other industrial sectors.[6] This contribution provides an answer to this question; an answer that is, of course, not comprehensive, but that nonetheless explores a range of dynamics that contribute to the persistence of inequalities in the field of classical music. Specifically, I draw on wider research on the working lives of ‘artists’ and ‘creatives’ to shed light on factors that are not frequently considered in industry debates about inequalities. In particular, I demonstrate how the precarious nature of work, the reliance on informal recruitment, unequal access to education, issues around parenting, constructions of the ‘ideal musician,’ the gendered politics of self-promotion, and depoliticising accounts of inequalities (re-)produce existing hierarchies and exclusions. By drawing on wider research on the working lives of artists and creatives, this contribution provides an important, broader cultural industries perspective that allows us to understand some of the dynamics that perpetuate gender, racial, and class inequalities in the field of classical music.

Precarious Work

The working lives of musicians are precarious. Musicians frequently encounter money problems and work insecurity.[7] As a report by the Musicians’ Union has demonstrated, many musicians have portfolio careers, which are marked by low incomes (less than £20, 000 a year for 56% of those surveyed), uncertainty, and lack of workplace benefits such as pensions.[8] 65% of surveyed musicians had no independent pension provision, and over 60% reported working for free in the last twelve months. Only 10% were full-time salaried employees, half reported not having any regular employment whatsoever, and the vast majority of musicians (94%) work freelance for all or part of their income. According to the study, around a third (34%) worked additional jobs not connected to their music careers in order to maintain an income.[9]

The prevalence of precarious and unpaid work is a significant barrier to some for getting in and getting on in the classical music profession.[10] Class origin, for example, shapes the experiences of precarious and unpaid work. Being from a middle-class background and, more specifically, having the ability to depend on one’s parents’ support, can act as a buffer against some of the insecurities and anxieties related to precarious work.[11] Similarly, experiences of doing unpaid work differ along class lines: whether unpaid work is seen as an inescapable form of exploitation or as providing potential, future career benefits depends on cultural workers’ class origin, and disadvantages those who do not have the means to work for free.[12] The prevalence of precarious labour, and the reliance on unpaid work in the classical music sector, risk excluding musicians from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds.

Informal Recruitment and Homophily

Many sectors within the cultural and creative industries rely on informal recruitment, and it has been well documented that these practices disadvantage women, black and minority ethnic workers, as well as individuals from working-class or lower middle-class backgrounds.[13] Instead of formal recruitment methods, reliance is placed “on contacts, on word of mouth and on recommendations.”[14] Networking is thus crucial to finding employment in the cultural and creative industries,[15] and this also applies to the classical music profession.[16] As Siobhan McAndrew and Martin Everett have shown in relation to composers and the BBC Proms, network connections are critical for achieving great success in having works performed because they act as pathways whereby ‘raw talent’ is converted into success.[17]

The reliance on networks, however, tends to disadvantage women, as well as working-class and black and minority ethnic workers.[18] Research on the UK film industry has shown that white, male, and middle-class workers are more likely to enjoy networks that can provide quality work.[19] Access to influential networks is not open to all, but tends to depend on a range of factors, such as educational background, knowing “the ‘correct codes of behaviour,’” and having the confidence to talk to people.[20] These factors often privilege workers from middle-class backgrounds because they are more likely to possess the required know-how.[21] Gender also plays a role in terms of access to networks.[22] As Wing-Fai Leung et al. have pointed out, the spaces for networking, such as pubs, may form challenging environments for women, and ‘after-hours’ socialising is not easily manageable for those with caring responsibilities.[23] Importantly, networks do not only provide access to work, but also fulfil other functions, such as offering advice or featuring role models.  

Linked to the reliance on informal recruitment and networking, homophily also plays a role in excluding female workers and those from working-class and black and minority ethnic backgrounds.[24] Homophily, which describes the tendency of individuals to form networking relationships with those who have a similar background in terms of gender, race, and class, means that exclusionary hiring practices persist, if unconsciously.[25] The importance placed on reputation for securing and distributing work adds to the reliance on homophily in hiring practices. Maintaining a good reputation is key to getting work in the cultural and creative industries and the classical music profession.[26] This makes it harder for cultural workers to raise issues around inequalities because of the “disciplining power of reputation”[27] and the “view that resistance could adversely affect workers’ careers.”[28] Sexual harassment, for example, often remains unreported because of musicians’ fears that their reputation would be damaged if they raised concerns.[29]


Higher Education also plays a key role in fostering inequalities in the cultural and creative industries.[30] Relevant factors include the increase in tuition fees, at least in the UK, but also apply to processes of admission,[31] as well as the development of social networks.[32] While the UK has had a history of state-funded art and design training, which offered upwards social mobility to hitherto marginalised working-class youth, this has changed and working-class students are now more marginalised.[33] Research has demonstrated the middle-class culture of music education,[34] and documented a lower acceptance rate of women at UK conservatoires, as well as comparatively low numbers of black and minority ethnic conservatoire students.[35]

Notably, early music education seems to be as important as Higher Education in this context. Given the early age at which musicians have to commence their training in order to compete professionally, we (Bull and Scharff) would extend Kate Oakley and Dave O’Brien’s  argument about the role of Higher Education in fostering inequalities to include early music training.[36] This point is not only relevant in relation to the processes described above, such as the middle-class culture of youth music education,[37] but becomes particularly important if we place music education in a more global context.[38] Erin Johnson-William’s research has demonstrated that Victorian music education set in place the very ideologies of social status, class, and race associated with classical music making that still pervade musical practice in Britain and the Commonwealth to this day.[39] According to Roe-Min Kok, the examining boards, which evaluate skills in Western classical music on a scale from grade 1 (elementary) to grade 8 (challenging), were established in the Victorian era and subsequently transmitted to a range of non-Western contexts.[40] Instead of adapting its methods to speak to the specificities of the contexts in which they were applied, the “ABRSM directors seemed to have been contented to transfer its methods, created and practiced in culturally, politically, and economically different Britain, directly into a postcolonial setting.”[41] Kok’s insightful and critical reflections on her experience of undergoing this kind of early music education in postcolonial Malaysia demonstrates the ‘colonial violence’ it wrought on young minds. Early music education, in addition to Higher Education, is thus another context that fosters inequalities in classical music practice.


A further issue that is frequently raised in debates about inequalities in the cultural and creative industries, especially in relation to gender, is that of parenting and, more specifically, mothering. Indeed, it is often argued that women are underrepresented in the cultural and creative industries because of difficulties reconciling managing a career with raising a family.[42] Sometimes, it seems that the issue that ‘women go off and have babies’ figures as a convenient explanation for persisting gender inequalities, thus shutting down other avenues of inquiry and critique which would, for example, highlight the exclusionary nature of informal recruitment practices.[43] Feminist analyses of the role that parenting plays in perpetuating gender inequalities thus face a particular dilemma: there is a need to recognise that women overwhelmingly continue to act as primary caregivers while avoiding re-cementing the link between women and childcare.[44]

Bearing this dilemma in mind, it is useful to draw on analyses that highlight the construction of the ‘ideal cultural worker’ and how this intersects with gender and parenting.[45] Natalie Wreyford’s research on screenwriting in the UK film industry demonstrates that prevalent views of the ideal, creative individual as fully committed and driven have “the effect of excluding anyone with other responsibilities or demands on their time. It is therefore very difficult for women with children to present themselves as ideal screenwriters.”[46] As Stephanie Taylor and Karen Littleton have pointed out, the ideal of the selfish, creative pursuit, which prioritises work over other areas of life, makes it more difficult for women to attain this ideal.[47] Similarly, Leung et al.’s research on the UK film and television industries has shown that it was considered “more ‘rational’ in any given situation to hire a man, because he would be less likely to leave or to take time off.”[48] Due to the association between women and childcare, female creative workers may thus be perceived as less ideal in at least two ways: they may be seen to lack the full commitment required for cultural work and regarded as unreliable because of potential periods of maternity leave.[49] The kind of self required for cultural work—that of a fully committed individual with an uninterrupted career—tends to position women at a disadvantage in the context of childcare. This seems to apply regardless of whether or not they are or will become mothers.

In emphasising the role of constructions of the ideal worker, I do not seek to discount other important factors, such as the predominance of freelancing and the negative impact this has on entitlement to maternity benefits.[50] Furthermore, there are also issues related to the flexible nature of work in the cultural and creative industries. While this is frequently lauded, it may indeed make it more difficult for women to carve out the time[51] and space[52] to work while negotiating domestic and caring responsibilities. In her research on female artists, Alison Bain showed that women artists working from home struggled to have an uninterrupted and undisturbed space to work, which echoes Livia Pohlman’s earlier research on gender, creativity, and the family.[53] Gender inequalities in the context of work and parenting are thus not limited to constructions of women as (potential) mothers and caregivers, but also apply to access to maternity benefits and the challenges of flexible work.

Constructions of the ‘Ideal’ Artist/Musician

Constructions of the ‘ideal’ artist do not only pertain to issues around parenting and mothering, but also intersect with gender in different ways. In her study on screenwriting, Bridget Conor has identified the ideal subject positions for the screenwriter, such as the pioneer, egotist, or fighter, and demonstrated that these masculine figures point to “gendered understandings of heroic, individual creativity.”[54] Prevailing notions of creativity are certainly gendered. “In contemporary Western mythology, the artist is understood to be male.”[55] This myth risks marginalising women from creative processes and roles. In the context of the classical music profession, the association of masculinity with creativity may explain why female artists tend to be overrepresented in supportive roles (such as teaching), while men inhabit roles that are considered more creative (such as composition).[56] Having discussed the association of creativity with masculinity, McAndrew and Everett point out that “male composers accordingly have an advantage because they look like people’s preconceptions of what a composer looks like.”[57]

The ideal, classical musician is not only gendered, but also classed. As Bull has argued, “An accumulative, autonomous, entitled middle-class self [Skeggs, 2003] is both assumed in classical music education, and also actively formed through its norms” (emphases in original).[58] This middle-class self comes to the fore in the future orientation of classical music education but also in the way the body is controlled and disciplined. Cultivating restraint, for example, is a key part of classical music practice, but also a cornerstone of bourgeois subjectivity. Through her focus on subjectivity and the body, Bull makes an important contribution, which highlights that the link between class and classical music education is more than just economic: classical music practice in itself is associated with bourgeois traits; in reproducing classical music, we also reproduce classed (and gendered) selves.

Constructions of the ‘ideal’ classical musician are also racialised through an ongoing association of classical music with whiteness.[59] This association manifests itself in constructions and perceptions of white musicians as creative and musical, and their ‘others,’ particularly East Asian musicians, as robotic, technical, and lacking “real artistry.”[60] According to Taru Leppänen, “Classical music has embraced the idea that music must spring from the musician’s self.”[61] This self, however, seems to be racially marked as white. As Mina Yang puts it, “Asians have the technique, Westerners have the heart, the soul. The image of Asians as automatons, robots without souls, appears frequently in the Western imagination […].”[62] I also encountered these stereotypes in my interviews with the research participants, some of who described East Asian musicians as “technically skilled” and yet “robotic.”[63] These findings draw attention to the role of race, and specifically whiteness, in constructions of the ‘ideal’ musician. If whiteness is associated with musicality, and musicality deemed a key marker of good musicianship, then the ideal classical musician appears to be white.

This does, of course, not mean that it is impossible for black and minority ethnic musicians to forge a career in classical music. There are several examples of successful minority ethnic musicians, and Mari Yoshihara’s study describes the complex ways in which Asian and Asian-American musicians navigate their racial and musical identities in the wider context of classical music practice.[64] However, the suggested link between whiteness and musicality points to some barriers that black and minority ethnic musicians may face, which, for example, affect the ways their musicianship is evaluated. As a study by Charles A. Elliott on the effects of race and gender on the evaluations of music performers by musician educators has shown, black musicians were consistently evaluated lower than white musicians, even though the musical performance was identical (videotapes of male and female, as well as black and white performers were synchronised to identical performances).[65] Indeed, the same study also showed how gender, and more specifically associations of particular instruments (flute and trumpet) with women and men affect evaluations of classical music performance. This finding resonates with Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse’s study on the effects of the shift to blind auditions in US orchestras, which may explain 25% of the increase in the percentage of female players in the orchestras from 1970s to 1996.[66] These studies, as well as the wider research on inequalities in cultural work, highlight the role that gender, race, and class play in constructions of the ideal classical musician.

The Gendered Politics of Self-Promotion

Cultural work is increasingly (though not exclusively) governed by the values of entrepreneurialism, and the field of classical music is not exempt from this trend. This shift towards entrepreneurialism means that the worker must be enterprising about making herself enterprising: becoming in effect a microcosmic business; developing a strategy, marketing herself, developing ‘products’, establishing herself as a brand, understanding the market (for herself) and so on.[67]

If workers are businesses that have to be marketed, they have to promote themselves. To use Laurie Rudman’s definition, self-promotion includes “pointing with pride to one’s accomplishments, speaking directly about one’s strengths and talents, and making internal rather than external attributions for achievements.”[68]

Crucially, self-promotion is a gendered process and more difficult for female musicians to engage in. Indeed, female musicians have reported that they are reluctant to engage in self-promotion.[69] There are three main reasons for the reluctance to self-promote: first, self-promotion is associated with pushy behaviour that conflicts with normative expectations that women are modest. Crucially, in making this argument, I do not presume that ‘women’ are ‘naturally’ or ‘biologically’ predisposed to modesty. Instead, I draw on a performative approach to gender and am interested in how gender norms are reiterated through, for example, the association of modesty with femininity.[70] It is in this context that self-promotion and its association with pushy behaviour conflicts with normative construction of femininity. Second, self-promotion is regarded as a commercial activity and positioned as un-artistic. Considering that women have been constructed as the artist’s other (see above), engagement in self-promotion may threaten their already tenuous status as artists. Lastly, the notion of selling yourself may evoke the spectre of prostitution due to the sexualisation of female musicians and the fact that it is mainly women who sell their bodies.[71] To be sure, these gendered dynamics do not mean that female musicians are unable to pursue self-promotion. These dynamics do, however, explain female musicians’ reluctance to engage in self-promotion and suggest that the entrepreneurial demand to ‘self-promote’ is not gender-neutral, but one that is negotiated differently by male and female musicians.

The De-Politicising Effects of ‘Inequality Talk’

As mentioned in the introduction to this piece, there is now more awareness and discussion of inequalities in the classical music profession. This marks an important, cultural shift. Several years ago, inequalities in the classical music profession seemed ‘unspeakable’: frequently made statements pointed out that things had already changed for the better, that merit and talent, rather than individuals’ backgrounds, counted, and that—given existing diversity initiatives—it may indeed be an advantage to be from a minoritized group.[72] This seems to have changed, however. There is not only more open debate about inequalities in the wider, classical music industry, but also amongst musicians.[73] As I have learned in recent interviews with female, early-career musicians working in London, the awareness of inequalities in the wider industry is also audible in interviews.[74] This shift raises the question of the emancipatory potential of ‘inequality talk,’ to use Brook et al.’s terminology.[75] One crucial question is: do common accounts of inequalities promote, or hinder, social change? As I show in detail elsewhere, conversations about inequalities do not necessarily lead to political change.[76] First, inequality talk can become an end in itself, rather than a means to an end (such as political change). Second, a fatalist sentiment can characterise discussions of inequalities, presenting structural change as unachievable. And third, acknowledgement and recognition of privilege, crucial to overcoming inequalities, is not a consistent feature of inequality talk, which in turn risks reinforcing the normativity of whiteness and middle-classness in the field of classical music. These findings caution against overly optimistic accounts of the shift towards a more open discussion of inequalities in the classical music profession and beyond.

Equally important, insightful accounts of unequal power relations can co-exist with an individualist outlook. An individualist outlook is, for example, present in female musicians’ accounts of sexual misconduct.[77] There is now more awareness of the prevalence of sexual misconduct, but the disciplining power of reputation (see above) continues to prevent female artists from reporting. The precarious nature of musicians’ work, linked to the predominance of freelancing, and the reliance on reputation in informal recruitment make it difficult to speak out against sexual harassment. The industry, and particularly the domains where freelance work is prevalent, has yet to offer safe, reliable, and meaningful ways to report and deal with sexual harassment. In this context, women and victims of sexual harassment are left with individualist solutions and may feel that they themselves should stand up against, challenge, or call out sexual misconduct. This, however, is an unrealistic expectation and one that places a huge burden on those who are adversely affected by sexual misconduct. If there is no collective/industry-wide response to sexual misconduct, those negatively affected by it may only have themselves to blame when they encounter sexual misconduct and feel that they cannot report it. This means that women’s alleged empowerment in the so-called #MeToo era may actually have a disempowering effect, as women may blame themselves for being unable to call out, or fight against, the prevalence of sexual harassment in the cultural and creative industries. In addition, and as Catherine Rottenberg has argued, encouraging individual women to speak out against sexual harassment and abuse elides “the structural and economic undergirding of these phenomena, and in so doing help[s] make poor and immigrant women, as well as women of colour, even more precarious and invisible then they already are.”[78] #MeToo gained traction when white, heterosexual, and economically privileged women started to speak out,[79] pointing to classed, racialised, and heteronormative dynamics in who gets heard in the struggle against sexual harassment and abuse. The figure of the strong, empowered woman who calls out perpetrators may thus disempower working-class, queer, trans, black and minority-ethnic women in particular ways. These findings and arguments caution against overly celebratory accounts of the recent shift towards a more open discussion of inequalities in the classical music sphere and the cultural industries more generally. Not only may common forms of ‘inequality talk’ fail to promote structural and political change; as long as an individualist outlook pervades responses to inequalities, feelings of self-blame and disempowerment may occur.

Concluding Remarks

By drawing on wider research on the working lives of artists and creatives, I hope to have shown that important insights can be gained from a so-called ‘cultural work perspective.’ Taken together, the findings presented here demonstrate that inequalities in the cultural and creative industries, and the classical music profession, are about more than under-representation or a pay gap. This means that tackling inequalities is not just a matter of increasing the numbers of musicians from ‘underrepresented groups,’ but that this political work has to cut much more deeply. It is, for example, also about challenging the normativity of whiteness or middle-classness in classical music’s educational settings, and in commonly shared ideas of who constitutes the ‘ideal’ classical musician. Equally important, common working practices, such as the reliance on unpaid work, networking, or self-promotion, have exclusionary effects. As I have shown, these practices are not equally accessible to everyone, but contribute to classed, gendered, and racialised hierarchies. And while I welcome the shift towards a more open discussion of inequalities in the classical music sphere, I used the last section of this piece to strike a cautious note, and to highlight some of the de-politicising effects that ‘inequality talk’ may have. Discussions of inequalities cannot become an end in itself, but need to lay the groundwork for meaningful, structural change.

Dr. Christina Scharff is Senior Lecturer in Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London. Her research interests are in gender, media, and culture with a focus on engagements with feminism and the politics of creative work. Christina is the author of Repudiating Feminism: Young Women in a Neoliberal World (Ashgate, 2012) and, most recently, Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work: The Classical Music Profession (Routledge, 2018). She co-edited (with Rosalind Gill) the books New Femininities: Postfeminism, Neoliberalism and Subjectivity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); Aesthetic Labour: Rethinking Beauty Politics in Neoliberalism (with Ana Sofia Elias and Rosalind Gill) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017); and Digital Feminisms: Transnational Activism in German Protest Cultures (with Carrie Smith-Prei and Maria Stehle).


[1] This contribution is based on Chapter 2, “Documenting and Explaining Inequalities in the Classical Music Profession” in Christina Scharff, Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work: The Classical Music Profession (London: Routledge, 2018).

[2] See, for example, Chineke! Orchestra; Keychange, Resound, and SWAP’ra.

[3] Chi-chi Nwanoku, “Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE to give Distinguished Lecture on improving diversity in orchestras,” accessed December 2019, https://www.city.ac.uk/news/2019/may/chi-chi-nwanoku-obe-to-give-distinguished-lecture-on-improving-diversity-in-orchestras.

[4] Anna Bull, Class, Control, & Classical Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).

[5] See Scharff, Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work for a detailed discussion.

[6] Orian Brook, Dave O'Brien, and Mark Taylor, Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, https://createlondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Panic-Social-Class-Taste-and-Inequalities-in-the-Creative-Industries1.pdf.

[7] Professional Music in the UK: Health and Wellbeing Survey (London: Help Musicians UK, 2014), accessed 1 December 2016, https://issuu.com/helpmusiciansuk/docs/help_musicians_uk_health_and_wellbe?e=10405134/8971874.

[8] The Working Musician (London: Musicians' Union, 2012), accessed 1 December 2016, http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/Files/Reports/Industry/The-Working-Musician-report.

[9] See also Help Musicians UK, Professional music in the UK.

[10] Brook, O’Brien, and Taylor, Panic!.

[11] Scharff, Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work.

[12] Brook, O’Brien, and Taylor, Panic!.

[13] Bridget Conor, Rosalind Gill, and Stephanie Taylor, eds., Gender and Creative Labour, Sociological review monograph vol. 63 (Chichester: Wiley, 2015); Leung Wing-Fai, Rosalind Gill, and Keith Randle, “Getting in, getting on, getting out? Women as career scramblers in the UK film and television industries,” in ibid.: 50–65.

[14] Jane Holgate and Sonia McKay, “Equal opportunities policies: How effective are they in increasing diversity in the audio-visual industries' freelance labour market?,” Media, Culture & Society 31, no. 1 (2009): 159.

[15] Conor et al., Gender and Creative Labour; Irena Grugulis and Dimitrinka Stoyanova, “Social Capital and Networks in Film and TV: Jobs for the Boys?,” Organization Studies 33, no. 10 (2012): 1311–1331; Keith Randle, Cynthia Forson, and Moria Calveley, “Towards a Bourdieusian analysis of the social composition of the UK film and television workforce,” Work, Employment & Society 29, no. 4 (2015): 590–606; Leung, Gill, and Randle, “Equal opportunities policies”; Natalie Wreyford, Gender Inequality in Screenwriting Work (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

[16] Scharff, Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work.

[17] Siobhan McAndrew and Martin Everett, “Symbolic versus commercial success among British female composers,” in Social Networks and Music Worlds, eds. Nick Crossley, Siobhan McAndrew, and Paul Widdop (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2015), 61–88.

[18] Joan Acker, “Inequality Regimes: Gender, Class, and Race in Organizations,” Gender & Society 20, no. 4 (2006): 441–464.

[19] Grugulis and Stoyanova, “Social Capital and Networks in Film and TV.”

[20] Randle, Forson, Calveley, “Towards a Bourdieusian analysis,” 598.

[21] Sam Friedman, Dave O’Brien, and Daniel Laurison, “Like Skydiving without a Parachute: How Class Origin Shapes Occupational Trajectories in British Acting,” Sociology 51, no. 5 (2016): 992–1010; Randle, Forson, Calveley, “Towards a Bourdieusian analysis.”

[22] Wreyford, Gender Inequality.

[23] Holgate and McKay, “Equal opportunities policies.”

[24] Ibid.; Wreyford, Gender Inequality.

[25] Holgate and McKay, “Equal opportunities policies.”

[26] Christina Scharff, “From ‘not me’ to ‘MeToo’: Exploring the trickle-down effects of neoliberal feminism,” Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia (forthcoming).

[27] Anne O’Brien, “Producing Television and Reproducing Gender,” in Television & New Media 16, no. 3 (2015): 260.

[28] Ashika Thanki and Steve Jefferys, “Who are the fairest? Ethnic segmentation in London's media production,” in Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation 1, no. 1 (2007): 117.

[29] Dignity at work: a survey of discrimination in the music sector (Incorporated Society of Musicians, 2018), accessed 13 May 2019, https://www.ism.org/images/images/ISM_Dignity-at-work-April-2018.pdf.

[30] Kate Oakley and Dave O'Brien, “Learning to labour unequally: Understanding the relationship between cultural production, cultural consumption and inequality,” Social Identities 22, no. 5 (2016): 471–486.

[31] Penny J. Burke and Jackie McManus, Art for a few: exclusion and misrecognition in art and design higher education admissions (National Arts Learning Network, 2009).

[32] Randle, Forson, Calveley, “Towards a Bourdieusian analysis.”

[33] Mark Banks and Kate Oakley, “The dance goes on forever? Art schools, class and UK higher education,” International Journal of Cultural Policy 22, no. 1 (2016): 41–57.

[34] Bull, Class, Control, & Classical Music.

[35] Scharff, Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work.

[36] Anna Bull and Christina Scharff, “‘McDonald’s Music’ Versus ‘Serious Music’: How Production and Consumption Practices Help to Reproduce Class Inequality in the Classical Music Profession,” Cultural Sociology 11, no. 3 (2017): 283–301.

[37] Bull, Class, Control, & Classical Music.

[38] Geoffrey Baker, El Sistema: Orchestrating Venezuela's Youth (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), for example.

[39] Erin Johnson-Williams, “Imperial surveillance: The origins of power formation in Victorian music education” (paper presented at the conference Classical Music: Critical Challenges, King’s College London, 17 October 2014).

[40] Roe-Min Kok, “Music for a Postcolonial Child: Theorizing Malaysian Memories,” Musical Childhoods and the Cultures of Youth, eds. Susan Boynton and Roe-Min Kok (Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 2006): 89–104.

[41] Ibid., 97.

[42] Women in the Creative Media Industries (London: Skillset, 2010), accessed 1 December 2016, http://www.ewawomen.com/uploads/files/surveyskillset.pdf, for instance.

[43] Rosalind Gill, “Unspeakable Inequalities: Post Feminism, Entrepreneurial Subjectivity, and the Repudiation of Sexism among Cultural Workers,” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society 21, no. 4 (2014): 509–528.

[44] Holgate and McKay, “Equal opportunities policies.”

[45] Gill, “Unspeakable inequalities”; Wreyford, Gender Inequality.

[46] Wreyford, Gender Inequality, 120.

[47] Stephanie Taylor and Karen Littleton, Contemporary Identities of Creativity and Creative Work (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012).

[48] Holgate and McKay, “Equal opportunities policies,” 61.

[49] Ibid.; Wreyford, Gender Inequality.

[50] Holgate and McKay, “Equal opportunities policies.”

[51] Paul Edwards and Judy Wajcman, The Politics of Working Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

[52] Alison L. Bain, “Female artistic identity in place: The studio,” Social & Cultural Geography 5, no. 2 (2004): 171–193; Livia Pohlman, “Creativity, Gender and the Family: A Study of Creative Writers,” The Journal of Creative Behavior 30, no. 1 (1996): 1–24.

[53] Bain, “Female artistic identity in place”; Pohlman, “Creativity, Gender and the Family”; see also Wreyford, Gender Inequality.

[54] Bridget Conor, Screenwriting: Creative Labour and Professional Practice (London: Routledge, 2014), 121.

[55] Bain, “Female artistic identity,” 172.

[56] Scharff, Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work.

[57] McAndrew and Everett, “Symbolic versus commercial success,” 64.

[58] Bull, Class, Control, & Classical Music, 8.

[59] Taru Leppänen, “The west and the rest of classical music: Asian musicians in the Finnish media coverage of the 1995 Jean Sibelius Violin Competition,” European Journal of Cultural Studies 18, no. 1 (2014): 1–16.

[60] Mina Yang, “East Meets West in the Concert Hall: Asians and Classical Music in the Century of Imperialism, Post-Colonialism, and Multiculturalism,” Asian Music 38, no. 1 (2007): 1–30; Leppännen, “The west and the rest of classical music.”

[61] Leppännen, “The west and the rest of classical music,” 10.

[62] Mina Yang, “East Meets West in the Concert Hall,” 14.

[63] Christina Scharff, “Inequalities in the Classical Music Industry: The Role of Subjectivity in Constructions of the ‘Ideal’ Classical Musician,” in The Classical Music Industry, eds. Chris Dromey and Julia Haferkorn (London: Routledge, 2018), 96–111.

[64] Mari Yoshihara, Musicians from a Different Shore: Asians and Asian Americans in Classical Music (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007).

[65] Charles A. Elliott, “Race and Gender as Factors in Judgments of Musical Performance,” Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education 127 (1995): 50–56.

[66] Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse, “Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of ‘Blind’ Auditions on Female Musicians,” The American Economic Review 90, no. 4 (2000): 715–741.

[67] John Storey, Graeme Salaman, and Kerry Platman, “Living with enterprise in an enterprise economy: Freelance and contract workers in the media,” Human Relations 58, no. 8 (2005): 1036.

[68] Laurie A. Rudman, “Self-promotion as a risk factor for women: The costs and benefits of counterstereotypical impression management,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74, no. 3 (1998): 629.

[69] Scharff, Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work.

[70] Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex” (London; New York: Routledge, 1993).

[71] Joyce Outshoorn, ed., The Politics of Prostitution: Women's Movements, Democratic States and the Globalisation of Sex Commerce (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

[72] Gill, “Unspeakable Inequalities”; Scharff, Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work.

[73] Scharff, “From ‘not me’ to ‘MeToo’”; Christina Scharff, “From ‘unspeakability’ to ‘inequality talk’: why conversations about inequalities may not lead to change” (submitted and under review for the special issue “Representing Classical Music in the 21st Century,” in the Open Library of Humanities, 2020).

[74] Ibid.

[75] Orian Brook, Dave O'Brien, and Mark Taylor, “Inequality talk: How discourses by senior men reinforce exclusions from creative occupations” (working paper, SocArXiv, 2018), https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/y6db7.

[76] Scharff, “From ‘unspeakability’ to ‘inequality talk.’”

[77] Scharff, “From ‘not me’ to ‘MeToo.’”

[78] Catherine Rottenberg, “#MeToo and the prospects of political change,” Soundings 71 (2019): 40–49.

[79] Ibid.

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