chapter  1
20 Pages

Introduction

BySaskia Warren, Phil Jones

Within western policy discourses the creative economy is often positioned as a magic bullet that will save cities from the ill effects of post-industrial decline (Landry and Bianchini, 1995; Florida, 2002). A barrage of statistics can be marshalled to demonstrate the added value of the creative sector to national economies (Bakhshi et al., 2013). While some sub-sectors such as music and fashion are presented as having low barriers to entry (Hracs et al., 2013), important recognition must be given to barriers of skill and social capital (Hracs, 2013), inequalities of entry according to gender, race, class and age (Donald et al., 2013), along with high educational barriers in certain sub-sectors, including museums, galleries and archival work, which serve to restrict entry and condition success. For instance, the Department for Culture Media and Sport found that over 40 per cent of UK creative workers have degrees in comparison to 16 per cent in other sectors (DCMS, 2006). For those trapped in low skill jobs in the service sector, there are still tremendous challenges in seeing the creative economy as offering an obvious route out of structural inequality and into career pathways.