Issue 2/2012, 4. Volume Page 3–28
Highbrow cultural activities, social background, and openness in lower-secondary level students
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How can variance in students’ participation in cultural activities be accounted for? Is socioeconomic status overrated as a predictor? What are the effects of school track? And can effects of openness be replicated using measures from adjective checklists? In a structural equation modeling (SEM) study, cross-sectional data from N = 2,388 adolescent students in different German school tracks were used to assess the variance in adolescent highbrow cultural activities that was explained by social background, controlling for parental and peer group cultural activities as well as openness. We tested hypotheses of group differences in mean levels and explored effects of the predictor variables on student cultural activities. Results show that mean levels of measures for social background, peer group cultural activities, and openness increased from low- to high-track students. There were effects of parental and peer group activities on cultural activities, but no direct positive effects of social background or openness. The significance of these findings for research on cultural activities is discussed.
Openness; Arts; Social influences; Cultural participation