Dr Mark Taylor
Sheffield Methods Institute
Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Methods
+44 114 222 7124
Full contact details
Sheffield Methods Institute
Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS)
Mark is Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Methods. He’s interested in cultural and creative industries, with particular focuses on social inequalities in work and in participation. His background is in sociology, but his research interests are interdisciplinary, across sociology, cultural policy, cultural studies, music, games, and other fields.
His most recent book, with Orian Brook and Dave O’Brien, is Culture is bad for you: Inequality in the cultural and creative industries.
He's also the author of reports on the UK Games Industry Census from both 2020 and 2022, which he delivers in participation with Ukie. He delivered a talk on this work at the Game Developer Conference in 2022.
Alongside his role at the SMI, he also sits on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's College of Experts.
Mark joined the SMI in 2014. Before that, he worked at the Universities of Manchester and York, and completed his DPhil in Sociology at the University of Oxford.
A longer list of publications can be found below, or on Google Scholar.
- Research interests
Mark's interested in inequalities in cultural and creative industries. Why is it that work in cultural jobs is so socially exclusive, given the way that the sector describes itself? Why is it that audiences are so socially homogeneous? How does the governance of the arts relate to inequalities?
He’s also interested in related issues, such as the ubiquity of data in everyday life, the conditions of working in creative jobs, the ways that what constitutes creative work are constructed and defined, and the overall structure of different industries.
Mark’s used a wide range of different research methods, including the collection of original survey data, analysis of existing large survey data sources, network analysis, spatial analysis, and qualitative methods. He's particularly keen on the creative use of data visualisation in research.
While most of his work is based in the UK, he's also currently working with a team at Deakin University on a project about audience diversification in the arts in Australia.
- Culture Is Bad for You Inequality in the Cultural and Creative Industries. Manchester University Press.
- Making Sense of Data in the Media. Sage.
- Inequality talk : how discourses by senior men reinforce exclusions from creative occupations. European Journal of Cultural Studies. 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. 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
- Who watches the watchmen? Evaluating evaluations of El Sistema. British Journal of Music Education, 35(3), 255-269. 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
- Subjective well-being in cultural advocacy: a politics of research between the market and the academy. Journal of Cultural Economy, 11(3), 225-243. 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
- Bowling even more alone: trends towards individual participation in sport. European Sport Management Quarterly, 17(3), 290-311. View this article in WRRO
- Taking Part: the next five years (2016) by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Cultural Trends, 25(4), 291-294. View this article in WRRO
- Nonparticipation or different styles of participation? Alternative interpretations from Taking Part. Cultural Trends, 25(3: Everyday Participation and Cultural Value. Part 1), 169-181. View this article in WRRO
- On Social Class, Anno 2014. Sociology, 49(6), 1011-1030.
- The Hidden Dimensions of the Musical Field and the Potential of the New Social Data. Sociological Research Online, 18(2), 11-21.
- A New Model of Social Class? Findings from the BBC’s Great British Class Survey Experiment. Sociology, 47(2), 219-250.
- “There’s No Way That You Get Paid to Do the Arts”: Unpaid Labour Across the Cultural and Creative Life Course. Sociological Research Online, 136078041989529-136078041989529.
- Who runs the arts in England? A social network analysis of arts boards. Poetics.
- Cultural Consumption and Covid-19: Evidence from the Taking Part and COVID-19 Cultural Participation Monitor surveys.
- Art Workers, Inequality, and the Labour Market: Values, Norms, and Alienation Across Three Generations of Artists, The Sociology of Arts and Markets (pp. 75-96). Springer International Publishing
- Connecting epistemologies and the early career researcher In Fenby-Hulse K, Heywood E & Walker K (Ed.), Research Impact and the Early Career Researcher: Lived Experiences, New Perspectives
- The creative economy, the creative class and cultural intermediation In Jones P, Perry B & Long P (Ed.), Cultural Intermediaries Connecting Communities: Revisiting Approaches to Cultural Engagement (pp. 27-42). Bristol: Policy Press.
- Teaching interests
Mark’s teaching is focused on working with students so that they can articulate the questions they’re interested in answering, identifying the methods that are most suitable for answering those questions, and implementing those methods practically. He’s particularly interested in working with students who don’t have a background in quantitative methods or in programming who are interested in becoming more comfortable with working with data.
While working at the SMI, Mark’s taught a wide range of modules, including data visualisation, research design, and social analytics. He’s also the author, with Andy Bell, Todd Hartman, Aneta Piekut, and Alasdair Rae, of Making sense of data in the media.
He’s been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2016, and a Senior Fellow since 2018.
Mark's currently serving as the SMI's Director of Education.