"I want to be judged on my work, I don't want to be judged as a person": Inequality, expertise and cultural value in UK craft

Patel, Karen (2022) "I want to be judged on my work, I don't want to be judged as a person": Inequality, expertise and cultural value in UK craft. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 25 (6). pp. 1556-1571. ISSN 1367-5494

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This article focuses on the relationship between inequality, expertise and cultural value in UK professional craft. Drawing on interviews with ethnically diverse women makers, I explore how getting their craft skills recognised and valued as expertise hinders their ability to establish a full-time career in craft. This is because judgements of craft expertise are largely predicated on aesthetic codes and classifications which are historically racialised, gendered and classed. In order to address these exclusionary processes, I argue that expertise in craft, which refers to the practical skills of production and the capacities of the maker, should be more central to evaluative judgements. I draw on Janet Wolff’s work on community evaluation to discuss how evaluative judgements about craft expertise can be less universalizing and instead located within specific contexts and communities. I propose that community evaluation could help to reframe what ideas of craft expertise are and address existing inequalities in the sector.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/13675494221136619
7 October 2022Accepted
7 December 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Craft, cultural industries, expertise, gender, inequalities, race
Subjects: CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > College of English and Media
Depositing User: Karen Patel
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2022 12:20
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 16:17
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14021

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