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PhD thesis defense
PhD thesis defense — Passing on the culture. Parents, cultural inputs and stratification in children's reading.
Date & Time:
Øster Farimagsgade 5, room 35.3.13.
Department of Sociology
The dissertation studies how the cultural inputs parents expose children to throughout childhood (e.g. taking out books from libraries, going to museums, having a musical instrument in the home, etc.) affect stratification in children’s reading. Theoretically, the dissertation builds on a rich literature that finds cultural practices to be unequally distributed in the population and that this carries consequences, for example in terms of the advantages children bring with them to school.
Empirically, the dissertation draws on rich survey data from the U.S., and newly assembled Danish registry data that enable matching information on amount and type of library takeout to registry data from Statistics Denmark (e.g. on parents’ income and education). Key findings presented in the dissertation are:
– Reading is more prominent in high SES (socioeconomic status) families and reading improves children’s reading (but not math) performance.
– Stratification in reading is more likely related to a high SES preference for reading as a leisure activity, than a high SES preference for investing in children’s learning environments.
– When parents provide more cultural inputs, it has a positive effect on how much children read. As high SES families provide more cultural inputs and the effect hereof accumulates over time, stratification in reading grows across childhood.
– High SES families increased their takeout of E-books from libraries more when schools and libraries went under Covid-19 lockdown than low SES families.