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Pandemic Research Report

During 2021 we focussed on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our members. We surveyed the network to find out more about their experience of the pandemic and its effects. We asked about people's living situations and caring responsibilities, working conditions on site and at home, what support they received from their employers, and how the pandemic affected their finances.  We had 100 responses.

  • Some responses are hard to read but reflect our members' experiences.
  • It is vital for us to understand these impacts in order to make change.
  • Many of these impacts are ongoing and have deepened due to the cost of living crisis.

Thank you to all those who contributed.


Museum as Muck has grown as a network using social media, but we know there are lots of working class museum people we are not reaching. If you can, why not print the above poster and put it up in your break room or staff noticeboard? 


“There’s No Way That You Get Paid to Do the Arts”: Unpaid Labour Across the Cultural and Creative Life Course (open access)

Struggles for distinction: Classing as discursive process in UK museum work  (paywall)


The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged by Sam Friedman, Daniel Laurison

Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class by Owen Jones

Culture is bad for you: Inequality in the cultural and creative industries by Orian Brook, Dave O'Brien, Mark Taylor

Social Class in the 21st Century by Mike Savage

Respectable: Crossing the Class Divide by Lynsey Hanley

Estates: An Intimate History by Lynsey Hanley

Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns by Kerry Hudson

Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers by Kit de Waal (Editor)


The C Word s06 e04 Diversity (featuring Museum as Muck)

Culture and Inequality podcast course

Poor Lass

Working Class History


Museums, Class and the Pandemic: An investigation into the lived experiences of working-class Londoners (Museum of London, with Afterward by Museum as Muck)

Getting in and getting on: Class, participation and job quality in the UK's Creative Industries (Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre)

Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries (Create London, Dr Orian Brook, Dr David O’Brien, and Dr Mark Taylor)

Rebuilding a more inclusive creative economy (Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre)

Hold on. Diversity and Managing in the Arts. (Inc Arts UK, The Bridge Group)

Culture Club: Social mobility in the creative and cultural industries (Centre for London)


Representing the Underrepresented  (click the title to watch on the Museums Galleries Scotland site) online presentation organised by Museums Galleries Scotland, with Zey Kussan of Museum As Muck and Zandra Yeaman of The Hunterian, about approaches to addressing class system inequalities and the inclusive interpretation of museum collections.

Creative Case webinar: Digging into Socio-economic diversity from Arts Council England (featuring Museum as Muck)

Creative Case webinar featuring Museum as Muck

Being an Activist Museum Worker (featuring Museum as Muck)

Power to the Roots (Museums Association 2020 conference session featuring Museum as Muck)

Social Class and Working in Museums (Fair Museum Jobs Summit featuring Museum as Muck)