Family media matters: Unraveling the intergenerational transmission of reading and television tastes
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SourceSociological Perspectives, 55, 4, (2012), pp. 683-706
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
SW OZ BSI CW
SubjectCommunication and Media; Inequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
In this study, the authors scrutinize the intergenerational transmission of book reading and television viewing behaviors. They examine long-term effects of parents’ social status, parental media example, and media guidance activities during one’s childhood on adult media tastes. Data are employed from the Family Survey of the Dutch Population. By estimating structural equation models, the authors gained more insight into how parental socialization efforts influence children’s book reading and television viewing. Unraveling direct and indirect effects, they found that both parental socioeconomic status and media socialization activities play a major role in the intergenerational transmission of media tastes. Imitation appeared to be the main mechanism underlying the media socialization process. Parental media guidance, both directly and via its effect on children’s school success, partly mediates the imitation process, especially for reading. The current study above all shows that parental media socialization activities do enduringly affect a person’s media taste. Hence, socialization is found to play an indispensable role in the development of both highbrow and lowbrow reading and television tastes.
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