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The Stratification of Attendance at Cultural Activities in Canada.

SOCIOLOGISTS HAVE LONG been interested in the relationships between socioeconomic position and cultural consumption (Bourdieu 1984; DiMaggio 1987; Erickson 1996; Gans 1999; Lamont 1992; Veblen 1973). In recent decades, the standoff between the theories of homology and omnivorousness has been a central component of this discussion (see Alderson, Junisbai, and Heacock 2007; Chan and Goldthorpe 2007; Hazir and Warde 2016; Veenstra 2015). Homology contends that socioeconomic position and cultural repertoires largely overlap (Atkinson 2011; Bourdieu 1984), whereas omnivorousness claims that social groups are differentiated by the quantity and range of their tastes (Peterson 1992; Peterson and Kern 1996). This debate, however, has mostly focused on musical tastes rather than participation in cultural activities. In the present study, I therefore ask the following: How does socioeconomic position predict attendance at different kinds of cultural activities in Canada ? Using data from the 2010 Canadian General Social Survey on Time Use, I investigate the relative applicability of these two theories to cultural participation in the Canadian context.

The decision to focus on attendance at cultural activities is based on Mark's (1998, 2003) argument that engaging in activities is key to maintaining one's tastes. Drawing on psychological research on memory, he suggests that cultural tastes that are not cultivated through social interaction are more likely to be lost in the long term. Given the time and resources that attendance requires, it is an extreme form of cultivation that might reflect people's tastes more accurately than their stated preferences--their likes and dislikes--in surveys. Moreover, Canada is a largely unexamined context in respect to the social stratification of cultural repertoires, especially in regard to cultural practices in the form of attendance (exceptions include Ollivier, Gauthier, and Truong 2009; Veenstra 2010). Most studies on socioeconomic position and cultural lifestyles using these two frameworks are located in Europe or in the United States.

I thus highlight a frequently overlooked dimension of cultural repertoires and provide insights into the socioeconomic bases of cultural lifestyles in a relatively uninvestigated milieu. By identifying patterns of attendance and their socioeconomic determinants, I indicate how existing theoretical frameworks can explain participation in cultural activities in Canada, thereby contributing to the existing literature in cultural sociology. Further, my findings could inform decisions in the realm of cultural policy and public funding for the arts, thus potentially contributing toward making cultural activities more accessible in Canada.


Homology and omnivorousness provide the cornerstones of the discussion on socioeconomic position and cultural repertoires. Homology states that social stratification and cultural stratification are closely correlated wherein social groups (e.g., social classes) are differentiated by their distinct set of cultural preferences (Atkinson 2011; Bourdieu 1984; Coulangeon and Lemel 2007; Veenstra 2015). The theory thus posits that wealthy, educated, higher status segments of society have specific highbrow tastes and that lower social strata possessing less economic and cultural capital have specific popular or lowbrow tastes. In Bourdieu's (1984) original formulation of the argument, cultural repertoires promote aesthetic distancing and function as delineators of group boundaries. In order to express higher social standing, elites disdain mass culture while proclaiming their own cultural tastes as legitimate.

Central to Bourdieu's theory are the notions of habitus and capital. Habitus is defined as a system of internalized dispositions that structures behaviors, beliefs, thoughts, and lifestyles that correspond to one's position in society (Bourdieu 1984; Coulangeon and Lemel 2009). The habitus serves a double function: it produces practices and behaviors associated with one's social standing as well as judgments and classifications of the lifestyles of others (Lizardo 2014b). Patterns of attendance to specific cultural activities, therefore, could be interpreted as practices or behaviors that are part of a class habitus. Due to the costs and meanings associated with participation in different cultural activities, specific attendance habits might be embodied reflections of socioeconomic position.

In the Bourdieusian framework, socioeconomic position is determined by the different amounts of economic capital and cultural capital a person possesses. Economic capital refers to an individual's control over and access to economic resources (e.g., income). Cultural capital refers to "institutionalized, i.e., widely shared, high status cultural signals" (Lamont and Lareau 1988:156), which are often linked to formal knowledge and credentials acquired through the educational system (Bourdieu 1984; Bourdieu and Passeron 1977). For Bourdieu (1984), different amounts of economic and cultural capitals determine an individual's position in society, which in turn is associated with a specific set of cultural tastes, lifestyles, and corresponding habitus. Consistent with Bourdieu's homology thesis, Veenstra (2015) finds that the odds of liking classical music in English-speaking Canada are more than three times higher for postgraduates than for people without a high school degree, while postgraduates also tend to manifest dislike for lowbrow genres such as country, easy listening, and golden oldies. In parallel, respondents with lower levels of education were also likely to report disliking classical music. Similarly, Savage (2006) identifies "musical taste communities" in the United Kingdom which are marked by intense dislike of certain genres.

In contrast, omnivorousness contests the idea of a clear association between socioeconomic position and specific cultural repertoires. This theory affirms that highbrow culture in itself is not a symbol of prestige in society and that snobbism is outdated (DiMaggio and Mukhtar 2004; van Eijck and Knulst 2005). Omnivorousness stresses that cultural openness and taste eclecticism are the new symbols of higher social standing (Peterson and Kern 1996). Scholars thus associate omnivorousness with cultural elites who manifest appreciation for a broader array of genres (Alderson et al. 2007; Bryson 1996; Chan and Goldthorpe 2005; Lopez-Sintas and Katz-Gerro 2005). In its earliest version, omnivorousness occurs in tandem with the phenomenon of "univorism" (Peterson 1992), which stresses that lower segments of society remain characterized by their preference for popular/lowbrow cultural forms. Cultural stratification thus assumes the form of an inverted pyramid in which higher segments possess wide-ranging tastes and lower segments have restricted cultural repertoires.

In their seminal study, Peterson and Kern (1996) analyzed data from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts to find that the average number of lowbrow genres liked by people whose favorite genre was classical music or opera increased from 1.74 in 1982 to 2.23 in 1992. Similarly, in her highly cited article "Anything but Heavy Metal," Bryson (1996) finds support for what she calls the "educated tolerance hypothesis" (p. 886). Using General Social Survey data from 1993, she finds that education is significantly associated with fewer musical genres disliked after controlling for a range of sociodemographic factors including political intolerance. Alderson et al. (2007) identify three distinct groups of cultural consumers: omnivores, who are likely to attend a variety of cultural activities; "paucivores," who are likely to attend some but not all activities; and "inactives," who are unlikely to consume any activity. Their model shows that social status, education, and income predict membership in the omnivores and paucivores group relative to the inactives. Tanner, Asbridge, and Wortley (2008), analyzing musical taste among teenagers in Toronto, quantify cultural capital by creating an additive index using participation scores in traditionally highbrow activities; they find that it has a significant and substantial effect in predicting membership in the group of musical omnivores. Also in Canada, Veenstra (2010) finds that economic resources and educational attainment are linked to participation in a diverse assortment of cultural practices while lower class members partake in a more limited number of activities, likely as a result of financial and time constraints. Though omnivorousness has become the predominant framework in cultural sociology since the late 1990s, other studies continue to find at least weak associations between socioeconomic position and specific cultural lifestyles (e.g., Coulangeon and Lemel 2007; Veenstra 2015), thus supporting Bourdieusian homology as the theory that partially explains cultural stratification.

The conversation between homology and omnivorousness continues to guide studies in cultural sociology, but the debate itself has been criticized on several grounds. First, the stark distinction between the two theories might be overdrawn, as they both have in common the idea that culture is socially stratified (Coulangeon and Lemel 2007). While the nature of stratification may have changed, cultural repertoires remain associated with socioeconomic position after the omnivorous shift delineated by Peterson (1992) and Peterson and Kern (1996). This enduring effect of socioeconomic position on cultural tastes contrasts with the radical view of some postmodern scholars who have suggested that people are increasingly free of class constraints and able to establish their own unique cultural repertoires independent of class influences (e.g., Bauman 1988).

Second, critics contend that there is great diversity among omnivores and that the concept does not fully capture important differences (Warde, Wright, and Gayo-Cal 2007) and hierarchies (Tampubolon 2010) within this group. In attempts to unravel the meaning of omnivorousness, scholars have noted the difference between omnivorousness "by volume" and "by composition." Omnivorousness by volume refers to the overall quantity of one's cultural consumption, independent of highbrow/lowbrow distinctions, whereas omnivorousness by composition is related to the symbolic crossing of highbrow and lowbrow boundaries (Lizardo 2014b; Warde and Gayo-Cal 2009; Warde et al. 2007). For example, a set of preferences for hip-hop, pop, and R&B, on the one hand, and for hip-hop, classical music, and heavy metal, on the other, is equally omnivorous by volume. However, as the latter genres do not have "overlapping audiences" (Lizardo 2014b), this set of tastes is more omnivorous by composition. As I further elaborate in the next section, I use a measure of "omnivorousness by volume" which despite its drawbacks remains useful and widely used in the literature due to its ordinal simplicity and ease of replicability across different studies or data sets (Lizardo 2014a).

To further map out nuances in omnivorous consumption, Warde et al. (2007) identify four distinct types of omnivores: the professional, the dissident, the apprentice, and the unassuming. Professionals are open to all genres along the highbrow-lowbrow spectrum and seem indifferent to the possibility of conveying distinction through arts and culture. Dissidents also favor eclectic repertoires but are more aware of the symbolic qualities of cultural forms and their potential for delineating group boundaries. Apprentices believe that there is virtue in "trying everything," suggesting they are following prescribed social norms on how to engage with arts and culture. Unassuming people demonstrate preference for a variety of genres excepting the fine arts; these are "lowbrow omnivores" guided neither by the desire for high culture aesthetic experiences or norms on how to engage in culture. Similarly, Ollivier (2008) suggests that "openness to cultural diversity" can be manifested in multiple ways that remain hierarchized along class (and gender) lines. These studies support the idea that cultural omnivores, often presented as a uniform group, may actually be quite diverse.

Third, some scholars question the phenomenon of omnivorousness on the basis of measurement biases (for a comprehensive discussion of the challenges in comparative research on omnivorousness, see Peterson 2005). Atkinson (2011) suggests that people claiming to be appreciative of many musical genres are in reality able to fluently discuss only a few of them. In large-scale surveys, he argues, people can easily claim to like many genres, but their true tastes only emerge when asked to describe their preferences in detail in qualitative interviews. Atkinson (2011) questions the extent to which findings in support of omnivorousness are simply derived from oversimplification problems related to quantitative methodological approaches. Through an extensive interview-based project investigating lifestyles in Bristol (United Kingdom), he finds that musical taste and aesthetic preferences continue to map on to socioeconomic position in a way similar to that described by Bourdieu's homology argument.

Finally, the homology versus omnivorousness debate can be criticized for its often simplistic categorization of cultural genres whose boundaries are both fuzzy and ever changing. Lena and Peterson (2008) note that cultural genres themselves are socially constructed and fluid constructs not fixed taxonomies or market categories as they are often portrayed. Further, there is substantial internal variation in supposedly well-defined genres. For example, it is certainly relevant whether a person watches Hollywood blockbusters, international independent films, or both. Such nuances are often lost, especially in large-scale surveys. Bourdieu (1984) recognizes that important variations occur within musical taste, noting a greater preference for Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier among upper classes and Strauss's Blue Danube among middle/lower classes, even though both pieces are traditionally considered classical music. However, most studies in the area do not account for within-genre variation.

Despite these drawbacks, the two frameworks are useful guides for studying cultural stratification, providing researchers with concepts and methodological approaches that can be used in similar ways across different contexts and thereby yield comparative insights on cultural stratification. In this paper, I investigate the relative applicability of these two theories for explicating cultural participation using Canadian data.


I apply binary logistic regression, ordered logistic regression, and latent class models to data from the Canadian General Social Survey of 2010 on Time Use. The samples are nationally representative of noninstitutionalized individuals over the age of 15 residing in the 10 Canadian provinces (territories excluded). Along with socioeconomic and demographic variables, the survey inquires about attendance at different kinds of cultural activities such as movies, theatrical performances, popular music concerts, classical music concerts, cultural or heritage performances, other cultural performances (e.g., ballet, contemporary dance, opera, choral music performance), artistic festivals, museums, historic sites, zoos or aquariums or botanical gardens, and conservation areas. Unfortunately, the survey often lumps together different genres into broader categories. For example, the question on attendance at theatrical performances includes genres as diverse as drama, dinner theater, musical theater, and comedy, which are arguably situated in different positions along the highbrow-lowbrow spectrum. Similarly, the popular music performance variable includes pop, rock, jazz, blues, folk, country, and western. Questions regarding participation in sports could not be assessed, as this portion of the survey was not asked to those who responded to the cultural activities questions. Respondents were asked about frequency of attendance at these activities in the 12 months prior to the survey with response options of zero, 1 to 4 times, 5 to 12 times, and more than 12 times. I created a measure of omnivorousness by summing attendance scores for the 12 cultural activity variables based on whether they attended an activity at least once in the year prior to the survey, a scale that ranged from 0 to 12. This simple additive scale measures omnivorousness by volume, a widely used measure in studies of this kind (see Lizardo 2014a). Attendance at specific cultural activities and omnivorous attendance are the dependent variables in my analyses.

I use measures of economic capital and cultural capital to operationalize socioeconomic position. For economic capital, I use respondent's household income. Income measures are coded as follows: low income (<$20,000), lower middle income ($20,000-$49,999), higher middle income ($50,000-$99,999), and high income ([greater than or equal to] $100,000). The low-income group is used as the reference category. For cultural capital, I use respondent's highest educational attainment. Education is coded as less than high school, high school, some university or college, and university. "Less than high school" is used as the reference group.

I control for the following sociodemographic factors: marital status (married or not married), gender (female or male), children (yes or no), residence location (urban or nonurban), age (young adults aged 25-44, middle-aged people aged 45-64, and seniors aged 65+). I use place of birth (born in Canada or outside of Canada) and first language (English or not English) to assess the potential effects of language barriers and early exposure to mainstream Canadian culture. I exclude individuals less than 25 years old from the samples to avoid confounding lack of education with younger age, thus producing a working sample of 5,464.

I apply three stages of analysis to the data set. The first stage assesses the socioeconomic bases of attendance at the 12 activities individually. The primary independent variables in these logistic regression models are respondents' education and household income. Marital status, gender, age, place of residence, children, place of birth, and first language are used as demographic controls. Using binary logistic regressions, I identify the extent to which education and income predict attendance at each individual activity, allowing me to see which of the activities can be tentatively labeled highbrow, middlebrow, or lowbrow. I find that both education and income positively predict attendance at each of the 12 activities but with varying strengths. This provides preliminary, albeit indirect, evidence that high status people tend to be omnivorous.

The second stage of the analysis concerns the investigation of the degree to which the indicators of socioeconomic position predict the number of different activities attended. This stage assesses more directly whether education and income are associated with omnivorous cultural participation. The outcome variable is the omnivorousness scale divided into four groups: none (score of zero), few (scores ranging from 1 to 4), several (scores ranging from 5 to 8), and many (scores ranging from 9 to 12) activities attended in the previous 12 months. The primary independent variables in this ordered logistic regression model are respondents' education and household income. Marital status, gender, age, place of residence, children, place of birth, and first language are again used as demographic controls. The model confirms that income and to a greater extent education have significant effects on omnivorous attendance in the expected directions. Possessing a university degree in particular is a potent predictor of engagement in a greater volume of cultural activities.

The third stage entails the identification of distinct patterns of responses to the cultural activities questions by way of latent class analysis. The objective here is to identify clusters of attendance and to assess whether indicators of socioeconomic position predict membership in the identified groupings. Answers to questions on cultural practices tend to possess some degree of association (Chan and Goldthorpe 2005). Theatergoers, for example, might also be classical music concert attendees, and people who do not visit museums might also not visit historic sites. Latent class analysis identifies clusters of responses to the different question on cultural attendance; each latent class is thus a grouping with a distinct set of responses to the 12 questions on attendance at cultural activities. To accomplish this, I collapsed the attendance responses into two categories: did not attend the event in the previous 12 months and attended the event at least once in the previous 12 months. I find four distinct groups of participation which I label highbrow omnivores, selective omnivores, univores, and inactive people. This stage also involves assessment of the effects of different covariates on latent class membership. Using the group of least culturally active as the reference category, multinomial logistic regressions allow for testing the effects of income and education in predicting membership in the latent classes. I find that income and education predict membership in the two omnivorous groups, with stronger effects for membership in the group of highbrow omnivores. Income and education also predict membership in the group of univores relative to the group of inactive people, though with weaker effects.


The binary logistic models reveal that income and education predict attendance at each cultural activity. Tables 1 to 4 document the odds ratios for participation in these activities. For example, a university graduate is more than 10 times as likely to have attended a classical music concert compared to someone who has not completed high school. For most activities, the effects of income and education are significant and in the same direction. In addition, the effects of education are consistently greater than those of income across all activities. These findings suggest that none of the 12 activities can be considered lowbrow, providing indirect support for the idea that elites tend to be cultural omnivores (at least in the context of the cultural activities investigated here).

The ordered logistic regression offers more direct evidence of a link between omnivorousness and higher socioeconomic position (Table 5). The outcome variable in this model is the omnivorousness scale (which ranges from 0 to 12) recategorized into four groups: none, few, several, and many activities attended in the 12 months prior to the survey. A university degree is associated with an increase of 2.04 in the ordered log-odds of belonging to a higher attendance category. High income is associated with an increase of 1.50 in the ordered log-odds of higher attendance. These results suggest that income and education have substantial and significant effects on the quantity of activities within which people participate.

The latent class procedure allowed me to identify four distinct clusters of attendance patterns and assess the effects of income and education in predicting membership in these groupings. Class 4 stands out as a highly inactive group. The probabilities of a member of Class 4 not attending any of the cultural activities are quite high (e.g., 0.99 for classical music and 0.97 for museums). Even in regard to movies or nature/conservation areas where their probabilities of inactivity are relatively lower, members of Class 4 are much more unlikely to be active in comparison to the other groups, as shown in Table 6.

Table 7 illuminates the differences between the other classes. Members of Class 1 have the highest probabilities of attendance for all activities. Specifically, the probability of attending a classical music event is much higher than in the other three classes, whose members are very unlikely to attend this type of event. The probabilities of attendance for movies (0.89) and nature/conservation areas (0.85) are also high. This suggests that Class 1 members are likely to attend all activities, including the least highbrow ones. Class 2 members, on the other hand, have high probabilities of attendance for only some of these activities, namely, movies, historic sites, zoo/aquariums, and nature/conservation areas. This suggests that Class 2 is a group of selective consumers who only attend the activities that are less highbrow among the ones analyzed here.

Class 3 members only have a high probability of attendance at movies (0.74). Though individuals in Class 3 are more likely to attend a few other activities relative to Class 4, they remain unlikely to do so for a majority of the activities relative to Class 1 and Class 2. Members of Class 3 thus most closely resemble the univores previously discussed in the literature, though this label should be interpreted cautiously here given that their probabilities of attending some activities are low but not negligible, as is in the case of Class 4 (whose members are very unlikely to attend any of the activities).

I label members of Class 1 as "highbrow omnivores," that is, people who are more likely to attend the traditionally highbrow set of activities as well as other activities not usually associated with cultural and economic elites. I label members of Class 2 as "selective omnivores," that is, people that have neither a broad nor narrow set of preferences for cultural activities, but who demonstrate a preference for activities that are less highbrow. Class 3 members are only highly likely to attend movies, and are thus labeled as univores, though I again emphasize that this label should be interpreted carefully in the present case. Class 4 consists of inactive individuals who rarely partake in any cultural activity. I therefore categorize it as the "inactive" class.

A concomitant step in latent class analysis is the implementation of a multinomial logistic regression to assess effects of covariates in predicting class membership. Using Class 4 (the culturally inactive group) as the reference category, the model evaluates whether economic and cultural capitals (measured by household income and education) predict membership in one class versus another.

The effects of income and education are in the expected direction (Table 8). The higher the income and the higher the education level, the greater the odds of being a highbrow omnivore rather than an inactive. The same can be said of selective omnivores in relation to the inactive group, although the odds are lower than for highbrow omnivores. In addition, the effects of education are greater than those of household income. Education and income also predict membership in the group of univores relative to the inactive group, but to a lesser extent. These results corroborate the notion that membership in these groupings is a reflection of socioeconomic position.


In this paper, I provide an updated and direct assessment of omnivorousness in Canada by examining different clusters of cultural practices and their relationship to measures of economic and cultural capital. In its earlier formulation and in subsequent studies (Chan and Goldthorpe 2005, 2007; Peterson 1997; Peterson and Kern 1996), elites are portrayed by the omnivorousness perspective as being well-versed in a wide variety of different musical genres, including highbrow, middlebrow, and lowbrow genres. In this literature, lower socioeconomic groups are sometimes described as univores, people who are only familiar with a restricted number of lowbrow styles. The findings of this study provide evidence in support of this version of omnivorousness. However, my study also indicates the existence of a group of individuals that is unlikely to participate in any form of cultural activity; lower levels of education and household income characterize this group. More importantly, the group of selective omnivores points to the existence of a middle ground between homology and omnivorousness. Selective omnivores have a relatively broad set of attendance practices, but are not fully omnivorous as they tend to avoid traditionally highbrow activities such as cultural performances (e.g., opera, ballet) and museums. Education and income predict membership in this group, but not to the same extent as they predict membership in the group of highbrow omnivores, where the effects of these variables are greater. My results therefore echo the idea that "there is no such thing as a single coherent cultural category which could be referred to as 'omnivore'" (Ollivier et al. 2009:470).

My study thus confirms that cultural consumption is not split between omnivorous elites and univorous masses, as has been previously suggested. Rather, cultural attendance is organized in four groups: a highbrow omnivorous elite, a selectively omnivorous middle class, an inactive group marked by lower amounts of capitals relative to these two, and an univorous class with some cultural and economic capital. These findings somewhat resemble the classes identified by Alderson et al. (2007) in the United States: omnivores, who tend to participate more in all activities; paucivores, who engage in the consumption of some activities; and an inactive group in which people are unlikely to participate in any activity except going to the movies. Despite highlighting the existence of different groups of omnivores, these results should not be interpreted as evidence against the homology framework, for two reasons. First, a correspondence between socioeconomic position and cultural repertoires remains present. Education and income predict membership in both omnivore groups, but with greater odds for highbrow omnivores. Thus, highbrow omnivores are associated with a higher social stratum, selective omnivores with a middle class, and the inactive group with a lower class. Highbrow omnivores and selective omnivores correspond to upper and middle classes of omnivorousness, which are stylistically distinct. Univores are a segment of the population with less cultural capital and economic capital than the two groups of omnivores, situated in a different position in the social space of capitals. Cultural repertoires, therefore, remain socially stratified. My results allow for a reading of homology as entangled with omnivorousness, suggesting that the two are not necessarily contrary arguments.

Second, the portrayal of a person's cultural tastes and practices as diverse could be a somewhat disguised form of distinction work, especially when accompanied by an appropriation of cultural practices that are not traditionally highbrow (Warde, Wright, and Gayo-Cal 2008). Omnivorousness, in the sense discussed here, can be interpreted as a specific version of homology in which the marker of socioeconomic standing comprises a wider array of cultural repertoires. Diversity of cultural tastes and practices can itself be a form of snobbism or aesthetic distancing, especially in a world marked by ubiquitous information where it is increasingly difficult to know about or appreciate everything. The ability to navigate different cultural worlds and incorporate them into one's repertoire may thus be a form of distinction work in a postmodern, globalized, and multicultural (in the Canadian case) society (Erickson 1996). Snobbism and exclusiveness, which are central to the homology argument, can potentially be manifested through more eclectic repertoires as well (Tampubolon 2008; Warde et al. 2008), especially considering that broader cultural repertoires require more resources.

By revealing two different kinds of omnivorousness, I show that quantitative studies do have some potential in identifying differences among omnivores. Scholars have criticized the categorization of omnivores as a unified group with common tastes (Atkinson 2011; Warde et al. 2007), which they consider a product of measurement bias associated with large-scale survey-based methodologies. Their concern is surely valid and the qualitative studies such as the ones they provide are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the meanings and rationales behind cultural preferences. Though the present study does not fully dismiss the issue raised by these scholars, I show that survey-based research can provide nuanced insights on cultural stratification and move beyond the omnivore/univore dichotomy.

As mentioned at the outset, the debate between homology and omnivorousness has also been criticized for its simplistic categorization of cultural genres. Musical genres, for example, are often discussed as static or fixed concepts, but are actually socially constructed and constantly changing (Lena and Peterson 2008). The problem with defining genres might be germane here as well in regard to cultural activities. Though the General Social Survey provides brief descriptions of the cultural activities in question, it remains unclear whether these activities mean the same thing to different people. For example, a respondent might consider a musical performance in a festival as either attendance to a popular music concert or to a cultural festival. Further, the cultural activity categories utilized in this study are sometimes broad and do not capture internal variations, for example, "movies" encompasses indie films and Hollywood productions. An investigation of how different kinds of movies are consumed would likely also reveal patterns of stratification (e.g., postgraduates might be more likely to watch foreign films).

These issues, however, do not diminish the relevance of the present study. The homology and omnivorousness frameworks are accompanied by caveats, but still facilitate insights on cultural stratification, as long as empirical findings are accompanied by discussions of their limitations. In this context, the existence of a class of inactive individuals revealed by this study is especially surprising given the range of subgenres within each cultural activity. The popular music category in the survey also includes jazz, blues, rock, folk, and country, subgenres that many people would consider as categorically distinct and actual genres themselves. This means that, despite the breadth of many of these activities, there are still many people who are not participating in any of them. Moreover, there are many people selectively choosing to participate in these activities: patterns of participation are identifiable even though the activities categories are broad and vague.

The three different models utilized offer evidence that income and education predict attendance at cultural activities. Using binary logistic models, I found that indicators of economic and cultural capital are positively associated with likelihood of attendance at each cultural activity. Next, using an ordered logistic regression model, I found that the higher the household income and (especially) the higher the levels of education, the greater the odds of having an extensive repertoire of attendance. Finally, using a latent class model, I found that household income and education predict membership in a group of highbrow omnivores (Class 1) and, to a lesser extent, a group of selective omnivores (Class 2) relative to a group of culturally inactive individuals (Class 4). I also identify a group that resembles univores, which is marked by some level of cultural and economic capital. I show that omnivorousness is socially stratified and that homology and omnivorousness are to a degree entangled with one another, thus supporting the idea that the stark distinction between the two theoretical arguments may be overdrawn.


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Adam Vanzella-Yang

University of British Columbia

The author thanks Dr. Gerry Veenstra for his mentorship and comments on this paper. He is also grateful for the support provided by his graduate cohort at UBC's Department of Sociology.

Adam Vanzella-Yang, Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia, 6303 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T1Z1. E-mail:
Table 1

Odds Ratios of Attendance                 festival

University         10.10 ***   6.13 ***   5.40 ***
Some university    3.85 ***    3.15 ***   2.76 ***
High school        1.65 *      1.74 ***   1.74 ***
<High school       1.00        1.00       1.00
>$100,000          2.07 ***    3.15 ***   2.23 ***
$50,000-$99,999    1.58        2.15 ***   1.70 ***
$20,000-$49,999    1.40        1.76 ***   1.42 **
<20,000            1.00        1.00       1.00
Pseudo-[R.sup.2]   0.15        0.10       0.09

* p < .05; **p < .01; **p < .001.

Table 2
Odds Ratios of Attendance

                     Other cultural
                      performances    Theater   Other museum

University              5.19 ***      4.90 ***     4.39 ***
Some university         2.67 ***      3.04 ***     2.51 ***
High school             1.47          2.05 ***     1.83 ***
<High school            1.00          1.00         1.00
>$100,000               1.90 ***       4.79 ***    2.71 ***
$50,00-$99,999          1.64          2.99 ***     2.04 ***
$20,000-$49,999         1.40          2.16 ***     1.64 ***
<20,000                 1.00          1.00         1.00
Pseudo-[R.sup.2]        0.06          0.10         0.07

* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001.

Table 3
Odds Ratios of Attendance

                     Cultural                 Historic
                    performance    Movies       site

University           4.45 ***     3.95 ***    3.71 ***
Some university      2.65 ***     2.59 ***    2.42 ***
High school          1.83 ***     1.69 ***    1.45 **
<High school         1.00         1.00        1.00
>$100,000            1.27         3.55 ***    2.47 ***
$50,00-$99,999       1.29         2.80 ***    2.03 ***
$20,000-$49,999      1.07         1.80 ***    1.53 ***
<20,000              1.00         1.00        1.00
Pseudo-[R.sup.2]     0.04         0.15        0.07

* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001.

Table 4
Odds Ratios of Attendance

                    Nature     Zoo/aquarium   Popular music

University           3.34 ***   2.51 ***       2.37 ***
Some university      2.12 ***   2.03 ***       1.87 ***
High school          1.53 ***   1.63 ***       1.22
<High school         1.00       1.00           1.00
>$100,000            2.23 ***   2.43 ***       3.90 ***
$50,000-$99,999      1.88 ***   2.24 ***       2.64 ***
$20,000-$49,999      1.51 ***   1.62 ***       1.81 ***
<20,000              1.00       1.00           1.00
Pseudo-[R.sup.2]     0.09       0.09           0.07

* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001.

Table 5
Ordered Logistic Regression Assessing Omnivorousness

                                       95 Percent
                   Log-odds     SE      interval

University         2.04 ***    0.100      1.84       2.23
Some university    1.26 ***    0.089      1.09       1.44
High school        0.58 **     0.104      0.38       0.79
>$100k             1.50 ***    0.116      1.28       1.73
$50k to $100k      1.12 ***    0.106      0.91       1.32
$20k to $50k       0.65 **     0.010      0.46       0.85
Child             -0.13        0.074     -0.27       0.02
Female             0.19 ***    0.053      0.01       0.30
Marital status    -0.11        0.063     -0.23      -0.01
Urban              0.42 ***    0.061      0.30       0.54
Senior            -0.42 ***    0.087     -0.59      -0.25
Middle age        -0.25 ***    0.069     -0.38      -0.11
Foreign born       0.17 *      0.075      0.02       0.32
Other language    -0.16 **     0.059     -0.28      -0.05

* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001; N = 5,464; pseudo-[R.sup.2] = 0.10

Table 6
Probabilities of Not Attending Activities for Each Latent Class

Activity                      Class 1   Class 2

Class size                    0.250     0.252
Movies                        0.108     0.272
Theater                       0.155     0.603#
Classical music               0.636#    0.955#
Popular music                 0.320     0.635#
Arts/cultural festival        0.164     0.739#
Cultural performance          0.448     0.887#
Other cultural performance    0.546#    0.913#
Museum                        0.196     0.559#
Other museum                  0.329     0.473
Historic site                 0.181     0.238
Zoo/aquarium                  0.340     0.385
Nature/conservation area      0.150     0.209

Activity                      Class 3   Class 4

Class size                    0.223     0.274
Movies                        0.253     0.691#
Theater                       0.466     0.902#
Classical music               0.879#    0.993#
Popular music                 0.517#    0.923#
Arts/cultural festival        0.583#    0.961#
Cultural performance          0.742#    0.981#
Other cultural performance    0.833#    0.963#
Museum                        0.796#    0.968#
Other museum                  0.913#    0.962#
Historic site                 0.787#    0.905#
Zoo/aquarium                  0.636#    0.893#
Nature/conservation area      0.507#    0.757#

Design effect = 1.88; log-likelihood = -34,917.13; df =
4,044; iteration = 277.
Values above 0.500 are in bold for easier interpretation.

Note: Values above 0.500 for easier interpretation
are indicated with #.

Table 7
Probabilities of Attending Activities at Least Once for Each
Latent Class

Activity                      Class 1   Class 2

Class size                    0.250     0.252
Movies                        0.892#    0.728#
Theater                       0.845#    0.397
Classical music                0.364    0.045
Popular music                 0.680#    0.365
Arts/cultural festival        0.836#    0.261
Cultural performance          0.552#    0.113
Other cultural performance    0.454     0.087
Museum                        0.804#    0.441
Other museum                  0.671#    0.527#
Historic site                 0.819#    0.762#
Zoo/aquarium                  0.660#    0.615#
Nature/conservation area      0.850#    0.791#

Activity                      Class 3   Class 4

Class size                     0.223     0.274
Movies                         0.747#    0.309
Theater                        0.534#    0.098
Classical music                0.121     0.007
Popular music                  0.483     0.077
Arts/cultural festival         0.417     0.039
Cultural performance           0.258     0.019
Other cultural performance     0.167     0.037
Museum                         0.204     0.032
Other museum                   0.087     0.038
Historic site                  0.213     0.095
Zoo/aquarium                   0.364     0.107
Nature/conservation area       0.493     0.243

Design effect = 1.88; log-likelihood = -34,917.13; df= 4,044;
iteration = 277. Values above 0.500 are in bold for easier

Note: Values above 0.500 for easier interpretation
are indicated with #.

Table 8
Effects of Covariates in Predicting Class Membership (Log-Odds)

                   Highbrow    Selective
                   omnivores   omnivores    Univores

University           4.33         2.47        2.09
Some University      2.74         1.72        1.53
High School          1.53         0.82        0.79
>$100,000            2.37         1.63        0.96
$50k to $100k        1.59         1.20        0.81
$20k to $50k         1.09         0.45        0.37

Reference category: Inactive group.
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Author:Vanzella-Yang, Adam
Publication:Canadian Review of Sociology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Aug 1, 2018
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