Cultural engagement in Scotland

Paul Widdop, David Cutts

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This research was commissioned by the Scottish Government to explore statistical evidence from survey data to establish whether taking part in culture in Scotland depends both on who you are and where you live. Previous descriptive analyses had suggested that some socio-demographic factors were associated with cultural choices. This research quantifies the relative importance of each of these factors and provides a useful addition to existing quantitative and qualitative research evidence in this area. The research provides strong evidence that some demographic factors (e.g. education) are more important than others. Using this information, it will be possible to target those individuals who may be at a disadvantage in terms of engaging with culture. In this report, we analyse the cultural data from the Scottish Government's Scottish Household Survey Culture (and Sport) Module, examining both attendance and participation in different cultural activities. The Scottish Government aims to overcome and remove barriers that exist for some people to engage with culture, given that evidence suggests that such engagement enhances socialisation and a sense of belonging. Our aim is to look at whether people can be categorized on the basis of their cultural consumption, and then examine whether belonging to those categories can be explained by the socio-demographic characteristics of the individual and wider geographical influences. This information will identify target groups and geographical areas where new initiatives to encourage engagement in culture could be piloted.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherScottish Executive
Commissioning bodyScottish Government
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • cultural consumption
  • geography inequalities


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