Symbolic boundaries in the arts become less important. But the social boundaries, which (potential) consumers and artists from various social groups face, remain important. This applies strongest to the established arts. In my presentation I discuss several mechanisms of exclusion in the established as well as popular arts and explain why they differ.
An example is that of a combination of subsidies and vested interests, which largely explains why the formal and informal barriers, which keep larger social groups and younger people from participating in classical/serious music concerts, are still high. Subsidies plus vested interests also slow down innovation and the application of new techniques which could have led to new attractive music music and lower barriers.
Another example: Being artists is primarily a self-declared state, but recognition makes a difference. In the established arts with the help of public support the barriers which artists face to become recognized are differently “organized” than in the popular arts. I will show that in the first, more than in the latter this reduces, the chances of less well-educated and non-white artists to become a recognized artist with voice; that is somebody who artistically expresses him/herself and expresses the problems and needs of the own social group, and is heard.
I will discuss more mechanisms of social exclusion. (The presentation is based on parts of my forthcoming book The social economy of art; are the arts becoming less exclusive?)