Religion, religiosity, and cultural stratification: Theoretical links and empirical evidence

Tally Katz-Gerro, Mads Meier Jaeger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Purpose - Religion is an important driving force behind many lifestyle decisions. Therefore, it is surprising that research on cultural consumption and stratification has linked religion and religiosity with consumption patterns only to a limited degree. In this chapter, we outline several theoretical directions that can be used for studying the link between religion, religiosity, and cultural consumption and the consequences of this link for cultural stratification. Design/Methodology/Approach - Our empirical analysis is based on data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), conducted in 2007 and pertaining to samples from 33 countries. Findings - We present cross-national evidence illustrating that, first, there is a positive correlation between religiosity and cultural consumption in many countries and, second, there is little evidence that religion is significantly linked to cultural consumption. Furthermore, we find that the effect of religiosity on cultural consumption is comparable to that of important socioeconomic factors such as education and socioeconomic status. We offer three possible explanations to the findings. First, that religious individuals tend to be active individuals; therefore, they go more often to religious services and they are active also in cultural participation. Second, a certain level of religiosity affects cultural consumption by setting standards for the intensity of social ties. Third, religiosity plays a central role in marking boundaries of cultural distinction. In the last part of the chapter, we delineate motivations for further research interest in the link between religion and cultural consumption and discuss possible avenues for the development of such research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligion, Work and Inequality
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9781780523460
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Work
ISSN (Print)0277-2833

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2012 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Religion, religiosity, and cultural stratification: Theoretical links and empirical evidence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this