The Humanities in American Life

Insights from a 2019 Survey of the Public’s Attitudes & Engagement
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American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Table of Contents

1. Dimensions of the Humanities in Everyday Life

The Semi-engaged Public
Who Engages Most Often?
Relationships among the Activities
Watching and Listening to the Humanities
Seeking the Humanities Online
Sharing the Humanities Online
Heading Out for the Humanities
Additional Forms of Engagement

2. How Americans View the Humanities

Favorability Ratings of the Humanities Compared to Other Fields
The Educational Benefits of the Humanities
The Personal Benefits of the Humanities
The Societal Benefits of the Humanities
Doubts about the Humanities
The Humanities and Other Terms

3. The Humanities and Childhood: Americans’ Experiences and Attitudes

Childhood Exposure to the Humanities
Perceptions of the Importance of Humanities Education for Young People
Where and When the Humanities Should Be Taught to Young People
Which Subjects Do Americans Wish They Had Studied More Of?

4. Humanities in the Workplace

Who Uses the Humanities at Work?
Humanities: Not Required for (Some) Jobs
Humanities Deficiency as a Career Limitation
Workplace Use: Relationship with Leisure-Time Engagement and Perception


A: Correlation Matrix for All Humanities Engagement Variables
B: Survey Development and Methodology
C: Stakeholders Consulted
D: Survey Instrument