AAAS: During the stay-at-home restrictions, Americans engaged in an average of five humanities activities at least sometimes

Interesting findings in an American Academy of Arts & Sciences survey of 1,000 people in the US. The main finding is in the title of this post. Click through for a graph of results.

Other key findings:

History: Watching shows with historical content was the most popular activity by a wide margin, with over 70 percent of American adults watching these shows at least sometimes, and approximately a quarter watching very often. The second most-commonly engaged in activity was also history-related. The survey found that 55 percent of Americans spent at least some time researching a history subject of interest (via the Internet or other means).

Reading: More than half of Americans read fiction books sometimes or more often during the lockdown, although almost one-third did not read fiction at all. A somewhat smaller share (47 percent) read nonfiction at least occasionally, with 28 percent of adults doing so often or very often.

Watching shows with other humanities content: While history shows were the most popular, 49 percent of Americans spent at least some time watching shows with other humanities content (such as art, literature, philosophy, culture, or world religions).
Online research and sharing: Forty-six percent of Americans used the Internet to look up information about humanities topics sometimes or more often, while almost as many (43 percent) shared digital humanities content with others.

Bringing the performing arts home: Though attending live performances was not an option for most Americans, 46 percent watched a music or theater performance online or on television at least sometimes. Approximately one-quarter of Americans viewed the performances often or very often.

Visiting humanities institutions virtually: A markedly smaller share, 27 percent, visited the websites of museums, historic sites, or other cultural institutions at least sometimes to take a virtual tour or explore their collections. Just 12 percent of Americans did so often or very often.

Ethics: In view of the myriad ethical issues raised by the pandemic, the survey asked Americans if they thought about or researched the ethical aspects of a choice in their life. Thirty-eight percent of Americans reported engaging in such reflection at least sometimes.






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