Socioeconomic Status and Youth Participation in Extracurricular Arts Activities
Lellock, John Slade
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A growing amount of research finds that the accumulation of, investment in, and mobilization of certain cultural resources are significant predictors of children's advantageous social development in both institutional settings and interpersonal relationships. Several theories and empirical analyses illustrate the importance of children's leisure-time activities in the accumulation of valuable resources. These cultural resources confer advantages to children, especially in educational settings (e.g. teachers' perception of students, intellectual development, and academic outcomes) because these arenas are often key spaces for social mobility. However, few research studies attempt to empirically pinpoint the socioeconomic origins of children's cultural (dis)advantages. This notable gap in the research literature can be addressed by examining family-level predictors of the accumulation and transmission of these cultural resources. The purpose of this study is to investigate the link between family-level socioeconomic status and children's participation in structured, extracurricular, arts-based activities as well as cultural performance attendance. Drawing on Bourdieu's (1984) concept of 'cultural capital' and Lareau's (2002; 2003) concept of 'concerted cultivation', this study explores whether or not socioeconomic status is a significant predictor of children's participation in extracurricular arts activities as well as attendance of cultural performances using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the Child Development Supplement (CDS-II). I evaluate Lareau's class analysis and expand upon it by disaggregating the key dimensions of socioeconomic status and identifying which are the most salient for increased participation in arts-based activities among children in the United States context. I provide a detailed analysis and discussion of the nuanced relationships between socioeconomic status measures and youth participation in the arts.
- Masters Theses