In order to assess the extent to which contemporary cultural lifestyles reflect a culture of distinction or a culture of openness, this study maps the structure of cultural lifestyles in Flanders, Belgium. Information on a broad range of cultural behaviors (participation) and dispositions (what is important in cultural activities) from 2849 respondents is analyzed and linked to a set of indicators of social position. By means of Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA), three structuring dimensions are found. The first is an engagement-disengagement axis-distinguishing an active and open-minded lifestyle versus a more passive, homebound way of living. The second dimension contrasts a preference for contemplation and legitimate arts with a preference for adventure and action. The third axis adds an opposition between a pronounced openness to new things and a more neutral stance. Cultural and economic capital are primarily associated with axis one, age with axis two. The third dimensionis linked todifferent specific combinations of social categories,demonstratingthat respondents have distinct ways of showing the underlying trait of openness depending on their position in the social space-omnivorousness isonlyone of its expressions linkedtoyoungerpeoplewithmuchcultural capital.

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Poetics : Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Roose, H, van Eijck, C.J.M, & Lievens, J. (2012). Culture of distinction or culture of openness? Using a social space approach to analyze the social structuring of lifestyles. Poetics : Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts, 40(6), 491–513. doi:10.1016/j.poetic.2012.08.001