This article seeks to elucidate over time changes and cross-national variations in the status of art forms through a comprehensive content analysis of the coverage given to arts and culture in elite newspapers of four different countries – France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States – in the period 1955-2005. The authors explore how cultural hierarchy is affected by spe- cific features of these societies and their respective journalistic and cultural production fields. The four countries show significant differences in journalistic attention to high and popular arts. Throughout the period of study, the American newspapers and to a slightly lesser extent, French elite newspapers generally devote more attention to popular art forms than their Dutch and Ger- man counterparts. In accounting for cross-national differences in the coverage given to popular culture, field level factors like the structure of the newspaper market and the position and size of local cultural industries seem more important than remote societal factors such as national cultural repertoires and the level of social mobility.

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ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie (print)
Department of Media and Communication

Janssen, M.S.S.E, Verboord, M.N.M, & Kuipers, G. (2011). Comparing cultural classification. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie (print), 63(51), 139–168. Retrieved from