Status and media use in the Netherlands: Do partners affect media tastes?
Number of pages
SourcePoetics, 35, 2-3, (2008), pp. 132-151
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
SubjectInequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
In this article, we estimated the impact of respondents’ and partners’ status on media use, employing four waves of the Family Survey Dutch Population spanning the 1992–2003 period (n = 5600). Media use was measured by literary book reading, popular book reading, and television watching. Although these types of cultural behavior are typically undertaken at home, and thus not directly visible as status markers, it was hypothesized that status effects would be significant because preferences for certain books and TV programs are regular conversation topics and their popularity differs between social strata. Indeed, we did find positive effects of respondent's and partner's status for literary book reading and negative effects of respondent's status on the amount of time spent watching TV for both men and women. Popular book reading was only negatively affected by partner's status for women, whereas only men were found to reduce their TV time in response to a higher status spouse. Status effects were controlled for education of both partners, household income, and a number of other resources in order to make sure we would be capturing the net effect of status. Our results clearly indicate that status considerations are important, even if it pertains to partner status and even when the behavior under study takes place in a private environment.
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