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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Rare Books? The Divided Field of Reading and Book Culture in Contemporary Australia
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This paper investigates Australians’ reading tastes and engagement with books and book culture. We examine data from the Australian Cultural Fields survey for evidence of a ‘reading class’ in contemporary Australia. The space of Australian reading as illustrated by multiple correspondence analysis shows demarcated spaces of reading engagement and disengagement, zones of consuming fiction and non-fiction and varying levels of involvement with book culture that map onto socio-economic variables of gender, age, level of education and occupational class. Using cluster analysis, we delineate five groups in Australia in relation to books and reading: non-readers/non-participants, restricted reading, young readers, popular readers and invested readers. These findings largely support the argument that there is an Australian reading class – invested readers – which is rich in cultural capital as it is defined in large part by level of education and occupational class status. There is also evidence of reading ‘interest groups’ – young readers and popular readers. The discrete tastes and practices of these sectioned-off cohorts suggest that cultural capital is not as strong a rationale for the involvement of these groups in books and reading as it is for the reading class.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies vol. 32 no. 3 2018 13969184 2018 periodical issue

    'The articles in this themed section report on aspects of the survey component of the Australian Research Council-funded Discovery project Australian Cultural Fields: National and Transnational Dynamics (DP140101970). Critically engaging with Bourdieusian field theory, this project investigated the shaping of, and relations between, art, literary, media, sport, music and heritage fields. It considered the effects on these fields of national and transnational factors including cultural policy-making, digitization and globalization probing, in particular, the role of cultural capital in mediating the relationship between education and occupational class. Particular attention was also paid to the multicultural composition of Australia’s population and the distinctive position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders both within and across the six cultural fields encompassed by the project.' (Deborah Stevenson, Tony Bennett:  'Australian cultural fields: social relations and dynamics' Editorial)

    pg. 282-295
Last amended 18 May 2018 08:27:34
282-295 Rare Books? The Divided Field of Reading and Book Culture in Contemporary Australiasmall AustLit logo Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies