Most recent comparative studies of cultural production and consumption are single country studies, which compare a particular case or population at several points in time or contrast several cases (populations) at the same point in time. Whereas funding bodies and policy imperatives, as well as phenomena of cultural globalization and the concomitant rise of globalization theory, have clearly promoted cross-national comparative research in media and communication, the sociology of the arts seems not to have experienced a similar development. This special issue features comparative research on cultural consumption patterns and omnivorous tastes; long-term effects of literary education on adult reading; the symbolic representation of the social world in prose fiction; gender differences in the duration of performing arts careers; and cross-national differences in the diversity of canons of music and visual art. Special attention is paid to the multiple pitfalls and the sources of methodological artifacts faced in comparative research.