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Political Preferences and Cultural Consumption: Are They Really Connected? (the Case of the USA)

Student: Alina Kamanina

Supervisor: Anna Shirokanova

Faculty: Saint-Petersburg School of Social Sciences and Area Studies

Educational Programme: Sociology (Bachelor)

Final Grade: 8

Year of Graduation: 2018

In the past few decades, there has been a debate in the United States about whether there is such a phenomenon as political polarization. Some scientists say that people's opinions differ, which affects the lifestyles and cultural choices, and warns that this phenomenon can lead to conflicts in society. Others, on the contrary, believe that polarization does not exist, and ideological alignment and its influence on the cultural sphere of life is greatly exaggerated. In the framework of this study, it is planned to find out whether there is a connection between cultural consumption and political preferences. With the help of a three-step latent class analysis, I try to understand which patterns of cultural consumption are prevalent in modern society, as well as through multiple correspondence analysis and multinomial regression, as socio-demographic characteristics affect cultural and political preferences. The analysis confirms the prevalence of the pattern of cultural consumption - omnivorousness, as well as the fact that cultural consumption is associated with income and education rather than with political affiliation. Moreover, it is noted that for a small group of individuals with high education and income, it is more likely to reside in counties with a high percentage of votes for the Democratic Party and have broad cultural tastes.

Full text (added May 28, 2018)

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