Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


A social-ecological framework of determinants of arts & cultural engagement

The development of a social-ecological framework of determinants of arts & cultural engagement and its application to health

There is burgeoning research demonstrating the social value of the arts and culture, including for education, criminal justice, society, health, and wellbeing. However, although the UN has declared access to the arts a human right, engagement remains unequal across society. Despite substantial research exploring determinants of cultural engagement, such work remains siloed by discipline and the focus in policy terms is often on individual-level barriers to engagement rather than the social and societal context that provides the conditions for such barriers. Consequently, the aim of this Fellowship is to transform how we conceptualise determinants of cultural engagement by leveraging the large volume of research and theory undertaken to date and developing a new interdisciplinary theoretical framework. We will develop a new framework for understanding determinants of cultural engagement that can be used to (i) map predictors of engagement in different population groups, (ii) improve the design and conduct of studies on the value of the arts to people and society, and (iii) identify interventions and policies to reduce inequalities. An ambitious engagement programme will use this framework with local, national and international cultural and community organisations to identify interventions and policies that could be implemented in the UK to increase and equalise participation.

This study is funded through a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship awarded to Daisy Fancourt.

Principal Investigator: Dr Daisy Fancourt
Contact: Dr Daisy Fancourt