Trajectories of time spent reading as a primary activity: a comparison of the Netherlands, Norway, France, UK and USA since the 1970s
Workaround: In current version of Panels 3.8, it seems this body field needs to be populated in order for title above to appear. This note is hidden by custom CSS style. Jack Latimer.
Focusing on reading printed material as a primary activity, and excluding that conducted for the purposes of work or education, this article analyses the trajectory of change within five countries (the Netherlands, Norway, France, UK and USA) between two points in time using time diary data. It examines four commonly held assumptions: that time spent reading printed materials for leisure is in decline; that book reading has declined to a greater extent than it has for magazines and newspapers; that reading has become more exclusive and the preserve of a group of highly educated and committed readers; and, that globalisation leads to increased cultural homogeneity of consumer practices. Employing descriptive statistics and regression analysis, all four assumptions are refuted. It is argued that comparative analysis is important for placing national trajectories in context and for revealing the nuances of what, at face value, could be interpreted as trends indicative of the spread of consumer culture. It is, for example, demonstrated that reading is increasingly a minority practice in the USA, but in European societies this is only the case with respect to magazine and newspaper readership in France. Generic national trajectories mask differential cultures of reading.
comparative analysis; time diary data; consumer culture; trajectories; globalisation; practice; reading; commitment.20071139