Four characters on the stage playing three games: Performing arts consumption in Spain

Jordi López Sintas, Ercilia García Álvarez

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    There are presently three competing hypotheses about the symbolic role played by consumption: the distinction, the boundary-effacement, and omnivore effects. Our research design follows another recently proposed alternate view in which all three effects are working simultaneously, but to differing degrees, and introduces several innovations. We found that in the Spanish performing arts symbolic space, the stage has four characters: sporadic, popular, snob, and omnivorous consumers, playing three symbolic games, namely, boundary-effacement, omnivore, and distinction, but to differing degrees. That is, we found (1) weak evidence for a few popular performing arts events liked by everyone, but not necessarily all lowbrow performances, (2) strong evidence favoring the hypothesis that consumers from the highest social class consume all arts at higher rates than everyone else do, and (3) moderate evidence that social classes use the performing arts' space of consumption to symbolize status differences. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1446-1455
    JournalJournal of Business Research
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005


    • Distinction effect
    • Omnivore effect
    • Performing arts
    • Sociology of consumption
    • Symbolic roles


    Dive into the research topics of 'Four characters on the stage playing three games: Performing arts consumption in Spain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this