Professor Dave O'Brien
Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries
Co-Director of BRISTT
Full contact details
Sheffield University Management School
Dave O'Brien joined Sheffield University Management School as Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries in January 2022.
He is a co-investigator at the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (AHRC PEC), and the AHRC funded Impact of Covid-19 on the Cultural Sector research project.
He has published extensively on inequality in the creative economy, including his latest book Culture is Bad for You, which is co-authored by Dr Mark Taylor and Dr Orian Brook, and the Creative Majority report on what works to support diversity in the creative industries, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Creative Diversity.
- Research interests
My research covers several areas specific to cultural and creative industries, along with more general sociological questions. I have published extensively on questions of inequality in the cultural and creative industries, with a particular focus on social mobility in cultural and creative occupations. Inequality connects to my interest in equity, diversity and inclusion in the creative economy, an area which I have several academic and policy focused publications and research projects.
I have also, in connection with my work on inequalities in the workforce, researched inequalities in cultural consumption, using new data sources to understand the stratification of taste in contemporary society.
Both of these areas form my current research agenda, with several current and forthcoming papers, alongside research projects including the AHRC PEC.
Previously I have worked on questions concerning cultural value, and have also published on urban regeneration, particularly focused on culture-led regeneration and cultural events, including the European Capital of Culture.
- Social mobility and ‘openness’ in creative occupations since the 1970s. Sociology.
- New forms of distinction: how contemporary cultural elites understand ‘good’ taste. The Sociological Review.
- Cultural consumption and Covid-19: evidence from the Taking Part and COVID-19 Cultural Participation Monitor surveys. Leisure Studies.
- Who runs the arts in England? A social network analysis of arts boards. Poetics. View this article in WRRO
- Inequality talk : how discourses by senior men reinforce exclusions from creative occupations. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 24(2), 498-513. View this article in WRRO
- “There’s no way that you get paid to do the arts”: unpaid labour across the cultural and creative life course. Sociological Research Online, 25(4), 571-588. View this article in WRRO
- The values of culture? Social closure in the political identities, policy preferences, and social attitudes of cultural and creative workers. The Sociological Review, 68(1), 33-54. View this article in WRRO
- The coming crisis of cultural engagement? Measurement, methods, and the nuances of niche activities. Cultural Trends, 28(2-3), 198-219. View this article in WRRO
- Cultural Engagement and the Economic Performance of the Cultural and Creative Industries: An Occupational Critique. Sociology, 53(2), 347-367. View this article in WRRO
- ‘Culture is a Meritocracy’: Why Creative Workers’ Attitudes may Reinforce Social Inequality. Sociological Research Online, 22(4), 27-47. View this article in WRRO
- Cultural governance within and across cities and regions: Evidence from the English publicly funded arts sector. European Urban and Regional Studies, 096977642211137-096977642211137.
- The creative economy, the creative class and cultural intermediation, CULTURAL INTERMEDIARIES CONNECTING COMMUNITIES: REVISITING APPROACHES TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT (pp. 27-41).
- Evaluating legacy: The who, what, why, when and where of evaluation for community research, Valuing Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research: Beyond Impact (pp. 45-64).