Globalization, World Culture And The Sociology Of Taste: Patterns Of Cultural Choice In Cross-National Perspective
AdvisorBreiger, Ronald L.
Committee ChairBreiger, Ronald L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn this dissertation, I examine the link between culture consumption and globalization. The first two chapters outline the contemporary state of the theoretical field, showing it to be primarily dominated by a macrolevel perspective--the media imperialism thesis--which has recently come under increasing empirical challenge and a theoretical stance at the micro level--the cultural capital paradigm--that does not have the explanatory resources to account for transnational trends towards convergence in the cultural stratification systems of Western societies. Chapter 2 begins the task of theoretical reconstruction by proposing a synthetic "sociostructural" account as an alternative to the media imperialism thesis and an extension of the cultural capital paradigm that incorporates an institutionalist emphasis on how global cultural templates affect individual consumption patterns. In the empirical component of the dissertation I examine the implications of taking institutional theory and the sociostructural approach seriously for the study of culture consumption and taste in contemporary societies. In Chapter 3 I demonstrate, using recently compiled data on cross-national patterns of culture consumption and trade, that in comparison to the media imperialism paradigm, the sociostructural model is best able to account for most of the empirical patterns observed. In chapter 4 I apply the institutionalist framework developed in chapter 2 to examine the connection between patterns of cultural taste and certain forms of subjective geographic identification consonant with a growing "world culture". In chapter 5 I evaluate several claims regarding determinants of "broadening tastes" in modern polities using data from 15 European Union countries, extending the agenda developed in chapters 2 and 4 to a cross-national context. Finally, in chapter 6 I expand the scope of the cross-national analysis by examining the global and institutional correlates of aggregate musical consumption and demand for cultural goods in 72 countries. These empirical chapters serve to advance theory and research on the behavioral and ideational consequences of cultural globalization, using new cross-national data sources and innovative statistical methods. They highlight the connection between local forms of cultural practice, transnational networks of cultural exchange and patterns of connectivity into the networks and flows of the global system.