In this presentation, I aim to shed a critical light on issues of social inequality that underwrite contemporary cultural production in the European highbrow music sector. Drawing from postcolonial literature and cultural sociology scholarship as well as from my own PhD research, I hope to show how cultural production always sits inside not outside broader patterns of representation and as such can be both a site of negotiation and resistance but also of marginalisation and reproduction. More specifically, I wish to problematize the role of diversity-oriented policies and strategies, often meant to widen the artistic reach of cultural institutions, for broader systems of inequality, in particular considering hierarchizing discourses around migration, ‘race’ and ethnicity.
Kristina J. Kolbe is a Leverhulme Award doctoral student at the Sociology Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Supervised by Mike Savage and David Madden, she is furthermore affiliated with the LSE International Inequalities Institute. Holding a MSc from the LSE in ‘Culture and Society’ and BA in musicology, media studies and social sciences from the Humboldt University Berlin and King’s College London, Kristina is especially interested in interdisciplinary approaches to cultural sociology and questions of social inequality with a particular focus on issues around urban multiculture. During her Bachelor and Master studies, she was funded by the German National Merit Foundation. Before re-joining the LSE for her PhD, Kristina completed a fellowship at and worked as a consultant for UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.