The Acting Class and the Myths of Meritocracy

Deirdre O'Neill, Mike Wayne

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Our feature documentary The Acting Class (2017) is here contextualised in the context of a critique of the cultural industries as part of the ideology of meritocracy and a resurgence of work around class in the sociology of culture. The Acting Class focuses on the question of class stratification in the UK acting industry. We here review our research on this issue and contextualise it within the scholarly literature on diversity and inequality, the creative industries and the broader re-configurations of the political economy of British capitalism.
We also discuss the importance of the interview in creative practice research as a way of democratising knowledge production and socialising experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
Issue number1
Early online date1 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2022


  • Meritocracy, acting, class


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