Author: Alice Clayton, Cardiff University

Day One – Tuesday 25th June

Strand – Health & Well Being

Session Three: 4.30pm – 6pm

The focus of this piece of qualitative research is on cultural leaders or ‘elites’ in Wales, referring to people who hold positions of status and influence in a variety of important Welsh cultural institutions and organisations. It is recognised that there are a number of interlocking relationships between the different domains including the cultural, political and commercial and people can occupy multiple positions within this complex landscape.

The paper is based on data collected from a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews with key informants and will consider how they tell their personal and biographical narratives. Attention is given to the reasons that they provide for their participation in their organisations, either at senior management level or as a board member. They justify holding these positions by drawing on the specialised knowledge and expertise (cultural capital) that they have. This, therefore, allows them to legitimise their involvement in decision-making. They explain their motivations as altruistic and coming from a genuine desire to implement practical and beneficial change to the cultural landscape of Wales.

In order to make these claims they continually construct their identities by directly contrasting themselves with people who not only lack the necessary skills and credentials to hold such positions, but who do so for reasons of monetary reward or as a means of furthering their own social status.

Presentation not available.