Social Stratification and Cultural Participation in Hungary: A Post-communist Pattern of Consumption?
Title: Social Stratification and Cultural Participation in Hungary: A Post-communist Pattern of Consumption?
Author: BUKODI, Erzsebet
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2007/06
Drawing on data from a recent time-budget survey, this paper investigates the relationship between cultural consumption and social stratification in Hungary. Education continues to exert a powerful influence on cultural consumption just as it did under communism. A major change from the communist era is that cultural consumption is now also strongly affected by income. Social status exerts an effect on cultural participation, although not one as straightforward as expected. The probability of being active rather than inactive does rise with individuals’ status in a rather steep linear fashion. But individuals’ status does not have any significant influence in differentiating among types of cultural consumer. However, what does appear as a significant influence in this regard is the father’s status. This latter finding suggests that in post-communist Hungary the direct intra-familial transmission of inequalities is becoming a yet more powerful process than before. The analyses suggest that in terms of stratification by education, income and status, the most salient dividing line is that between actives and inactives. As regards the types of consumer, three groups have emerged from these analyses: univores, exclusives and omnivores. Univores – who are in general at the lowest status level in other countries – seem to have been to some extent displaced 'upwards' by the unusually large numbers of the culturally inactive. Exclusives can hardly be taken as forming a social as well as a cultural elite; rather they appear to be the remains of the ‘intelligentsia’ of the communist era. If there is, in present-day Hungarian society, a pattern of cultural consumption that can be associated with socially more advantaged groups, it is that of the omnivores.
Subject: Cultural consumption; Social stratification; Hungary
Type of Access: openAccess