This thesis focuses on the extent to which minority/majority background is taken into account in the evaluation of artworks by young artists by gatekeepers in the Rotterdam cultural field. Gatekeepers make judgments based on experiential knowledge and play a key role in realizing the artistic vision of cultural organizations. As being inclusive is a goal by the majority of organizations it is the gatekeepers’ responsibility to translate this vision into action. This results in decisions on artistic content that become clear through programming or exhibition making. For this reason gatekeepers are a highly relevant group for the purpose of this study, as the focus is on the extent to which diversity is taken into account in the practical decisions and selections made by cultural organizations. The data were obtained by inviting respondents (n=56) to participate in a vignette survey. Of the sample 23.3% stated to have a non-Dutch background. The data are analyzed through comparing means and multilevel models. The main finding is that the culturally distinct name of the artist influences the evaluation of the art world professionals. The artists with a non-Western name were evaluated significantly more positive than artist presented with a Dutch name regardless of the content the artwork is presented with. This suggest a form of positive discrimination that is in all likelihood aimed at facilitating artists with a non-Western name a place in the cultural field, but in reality when not taking into account the content of their artistic practice, it can also hinder full participation as artists. The only finding where content was taken into account was by looking at the non-Dutch subset of gatekeepers; here artworks with a non- Western content description were valuated significantly higher.

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Keywords kunstwetenschappen, cultuurwetenschappen, Minority/Majority, Gatekeepers, Cultural Diversity, Cultural Policy, Arts Evaluation
Thesis Advisor M. Berghman
Persistent URL
Series Master Arts, Culture & Society
N. van Vuuren. (2019, August 18). The Judge of Who?. Master Arts, Culture & Society. Retrieved from