Sport and Symbolic Boundary Making: A Test of the Highbrow and Omnivore Theses
The question of how cultural practices and lifestyles count as status markers is a topic of much debate in cultural sociology. The aim of this thesis is to examine whether the dominant trend towards cultural omnivorism (inclusivity) and away from highbrow patterns (exclusivity) of ‘elite’ status consumption, which has been observed in many cultural fields, has carried over to the field of sports. I use Correspondence Analysis with nationally representative survey data to visualize the structuring principles of the Canadian social field of sports. I explore whether the nature of the distribution of sporting practices and social class positions in the Canadian field of sports bear resemblance to ‘inclusive’ omnivore and/or ‘exclusive’ highbrow structuring principles, and whether the overall social structure of culture and sport is the same for both men and women. This thesis shows that Canadians’ sporting practices generally reflect principles of exclusion for both men and women.