Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Working class prefers comedy and the intellectual class goes for drama

Date:
August 24, 2012
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
A study enjoying Spanish participation has analysed the theatre demand of society according to the socioeconomic status of the different types of the viewing public. The results were that the theatre is not just enjoyed by the intellectual classes. While they do prefer drama, the working class opts for comedy and the wealthier are swayed by reviews.

This is the Theatre Royal of Newcastle.
Credit: Darrel Birkett

A study enjoying Spanish participation has analysed the theatre demand of society according to the socioeconomic status of the different types of the viewing public. The results were that the theatre is not just enjoyed by the intellectual classes. While they do prefer drama, the working class opts for comedy and the wealthier are swayed by reviews.

Theatre arts are loss-making services that require subsidies to stay afloat. This type of practice has frequently come under fire as it is thought that theatre is consumed mainly by society's economic elite.

A study published in the Journal of Cultural Economics proves this notion wrong. According to its results, the so-called "intellectual class" prefers dramas, the "working class" opts for comedies and the wealthier are influenced by professional reviews when they have paid for a theatre ticket.

"The aim was to analyse theatre demand. It was based on a type of models used in microeconomics that analyses how individuals make their decisions. These models are used frequently in transport and marketing and go by the name of discrete choice models. We conducted surveys in two of Newcastle's most important theatres," as explained by J.M. Grisolía, coauthor of the study and researcher at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Newcastle is home to different types of theatres, from the most modern, like the Northern Stage, to older examples. The experts worked with the 3,000 observations obtained from a survey performed on 300 people.

As the researcher points out, "we presented individuals with ten hypothetic choice scenarios, each with five alternatives. Each option was defined by its attributes: price of the theatre ticket (from £7 to £35), the type of theatre, the genre (comedy, drama and experimental theatre), repertoire (classic, modern, contemporary), author (famous or unknown), expert or popular reviews (light-hearted, forums, word of mouth)."

The experts combined different variables for obtaining multiple interactions until arriving at ten choice scenarios in order to extract more information from each subject. The model used is called a latent class model, which groups the sample individuals into different categories.

One class, one scenario

The model clearly identifies three different classes that attend the theatre: a "well-off" class that represents 43.1% of the sample and is characterised by preference for classic theatre venues, enjoying all types of theatre and showing more willingness to pay, especially when reviews have been good.

The "working" class includes more young theatre goers (25.4% of the sample) who are mainly interested in comedy, consulting non-professional reviews more frequently and displaying less willingness to pay. Lastly, the model identifies an "intellectual" or "cultural" class (31.5%) with high willingness to pay for theatre productions that have a special preference for drama and form their opinion more independently of the reviews. "It is important to highlight that the intellectual class is not the same as the wealthy class," outlines the author.

Grisolía concludes that "these are the three ways in which theatre connects with society. Although it is seen as an elitist pastime, it also has a more popular side. The results are very useful for marketing actions and sales policies and help us to understand the role that theatre plays in each strand of society."

The study was financed by the UK government through the Arts and Humanities Research Council , an agency in charge of promoting humanities and arts in general. It was carried out by the team of José M. Grisolía, from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Ken Willis from the University of Newcastle in the UK.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. José M. Grisolía, Kenneth G. Willis. A latent class model of theatre demand. Journal of Cultural Economics, 2012; 36 (2): 113 DOI: 10.1007/s10824-012-9158-6

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Working class prefers comedy and the intellectual class goes for drama." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824082508.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2012, August 24). Working class prefers comedy and the intellectual class goes for drama. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824082508.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Working class prefers comedy and the intellectual class goes for drama." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824082508.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) — In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) — Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) — Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins