How class identities shape highbrow consumption: A cross-national analysis of 30 European countries and regions [post]

Aaron Reeves
2019 unpublished
Highbrow culture may not always be central to cultural capital and, in such circumstances, the distinctiveness of middle-class consumption of highbrow culture may diminish, becoming more similar to working-class consumption. Using data from 30 European countries, I explore this issue through examining three questions: 1) is class identity associated with highbrow consumption; 2) does this association vary across countries; and 3) is the relationship between class identity and highbrow
more » ... n altered when the majority of people in a given society identify as either 'working-class' or 'middle-class'? After accounting for other socio-demographic controls, people who identify as middle-class are more active highbrow consumers than those who identify as working class. Yet, the distinctiveness of middle-class consumption of highbrow culture varies across countries and is negatively correlated with how many people identify as working-class in a society. As more people identify as working-class (rejecting middle-class identities) highbrow culture less clearly distinguishes middle-class and working-class identifiers. In the absence of any class-structured divisions in highbrow culture, whether and how cultural practices function as a form of cultural capital is likely quite different, reinforcing the claim that the centrality of highbrow culture to cultural capital varies geographically.
doi:10.31235/ fatcat:rrzx7jtl5zc4zoyx6caidysrs4