On January 26, 2023, Gillian Gualtieri, term assistant professor of sociology, co-authored and published a paper in the empirical research journal Poetics titled “Campus connections for creative careers: Social capital, gender inequality, and artistic work.” The paper was partially funded by a National Endowment for the Arts grant, of which Gualtieri is the co-PI alongside the other co-authors. This article explores career outcomes for students studying the arts in relationship to the social capital these students develop in college.
Gualtieri analyzes data from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project, an initiative that conducts a retrospective survey of arts-related majors or degree programs. The findings show that greater social capital leads to shorter and more successful job searches post-graduation while also increasing the likelihood that project participants will maintain active careers in the arts. Gualtieri’s study reveals that art students don’t have equal access to social capital: On average, women arts-graduates have fewer connections to college social networks compared to their male peers, and the connections they do have tend to be less influential.