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In the box or up in the gods? Using multiple correspondence analysis to segment the opera audience in Flanders (Belgium)

Boekbijdrage - Boekabstract Conferentiebijdrage

In popular discourse stereotypes about the opera and its audience abound. The prototypical operagoer is the well-dressed businessman in his fifties from the upper middle-class for whom conspicuous leisure is as important as the aesthetic pleasure derived from attendance. Or it is the elderly woman, ostentatiously dressed en robe wearing a stylish fur coat and giving herself to refined chit-chat on the mise-en-scène or the vocal qualities of the prima donna. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we want to investigate empirically whether these obstinate images hold for the present day opera audience in Flanders (Belgium). Using correspondence analysis and Euclidean classification we distinguish different audience segments. The construction of the space of opera attendance--and the subsequent clustering of attenders--is based on the spectators’ aesthetic dispositions and motives for attendance in combination with the more traditional socio-demographic variables, like age, gender, income, and education. Second, in line with DiMaggio’s ideas on analogy of dispositions (DiMaggio, 1997), it is analyzed whether dispositions and schemata are transposable from one domain to another, c.q. from the aesthetical to the economic/political. More specifically, to what extent is aesthetic conservatism/openness related to economic/political conservatism? In this way, we not only hope to probe into the aesthetic attitudes of the various audience segments attending opera, but also into their attitudes with regard to economic and cultural left-right axes. The data come from a large-scale audience survey in the Flanders Opera in Ghent and Antwerp (Belgium), probing into the audience’s social composition, aesthetic expectations and dispositions, media preferences, attitudes with regard to economic and cultural issues, etc.
Boek: 11th Biennial Conference of the International Federation of Classification Societies, Abstracts
Aantal pagina's: 1
Jaar van publicatie:2009