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62% of Barcelona residents habitually consume culture

Study finds that 40% of people in Catalan capital actively "practise" culture, with 92% taking part in cultural activities in broadest sense

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13 February 2020 05:20 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Some 62% of Barcelona residents habitually consume culture and almost 40% actively "practise" it (writing, playing music, and so on), while if the definition of participating in culture is taken in its broadest sense (doing sport, enjoying nature, taking part in traditional events, and so on), the percentage rises to 92%.

These are some of the findings in the first survey on 'Participation and cultural needs in Barcelona', which was carried out by the city council's ICUB culture institute, based on interviews with over 1,600 people in some 21 city neighbourhoods, who were divided into high, middle and low income groups.

In fact, where this last point is concerned, as has already been seen in studies done on health, it seems social inequality is an important determinant when it comes to accessing culture, with families on lower incomes using and consuming culture 20% less than families with higher incomes.  

In the presentation of the study's findings, the council's head of culture, Joan Subirats, said the research looked beyond standard cultural activities (cinema, theater, concerts, and so on) to include a wider range of activities, while it also went beyond mere "attendance" of cultural events to include cultural "practice," such as writing or photography.

Effect of class on cultural consumption

While the study found that an average 62.4% of Barcelona residents habitually consume culture, when the socio-economic parameters are applied that number changes, with consumption of culture rising to 71.9% for higher income families, to 68.4% for middle income families, and falling to 49.7% for lower income families.

There are also differences according to socio-economic level in the "practice" of culture, with middle income families doing more (44.5%) than higher income families (38.5%). Subirats said the reason for this is that the middle classes tend to be more aspirational, with more faith in being able to rise up the social scale.

In terms of cultural "needs", the study found that there was a general interest in spending more time on culture across all three classes. However, the socio-economic differences also make themselves felt here, with people from lower income families more interested in doing more cultural activities than those from the other two classes.

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