Culture and inequality in Barcelona. Indicators and reflections for debate and research on cultural participation in the city

Everyone has culture. Can anyone develop it with equal opportunities and resources? This working document highlights certain inequalities that exist in the cultural field in the city of Barcelona. These inequalities are conditioned by aspects such as social class, territory, level of studies, gender or age, among others.

Culture, in a broad sense, includes life forms and value systems. Therefore, it is not limited to the activities promoted or developed by the public administration. Now, we understand that inequality must be a central concern of cultural policies. The promotion of equity in the cultural sphere should be part of the core of public action, especially in cities.

With the will to advance in this sense, from the working group “Culture and inequality in Barcelona” we have prepared a document for reflection and action on inequalities in the cultural field and its approach from public policies. It is a document open to debate and contributions, divided into five sections:

1) An operational definition of what we understand in this document by cultural activity.

2) The identification of the conditioning factors of inequalities in this area.

3) The presentation of some key data for the city of Barcelona.

4) A proposal of what we call “cultural assets”.

5) The summary of the debate developed on this topic at the last IGOP Summer School.


The document has been prepared by the working group “Culture and inequality”, composed of people from the academic field, public management, cultural entities of the city and international organizations.

One of the main conclusions of the document is that we need more information and better indicators on inequalities in culture. We also need more (and more diverse) participation to discuss this information and generate useful knowledge to make decisions. That is why we invite everyone interested to participate in the working group. To be part (or receive information about what we do) we encourage you to write to

You can download the document here (Text in Catalan).