In the Netherlands, we are witnessing a process of cultural divergence between generations. While the older generations have extended their participation in traditional highbrow culture, the younger generations increasingly focus on popular culture. Using cross-sectional data covering the 1983-1999 period, four potential explanations for this trend were tested. It was found, firstly, that this divergence cannot be attributed to changes in the relation between people's stage of life and their cultural consumption. Secondly, the observed shift is not the result of the emergence of the cultural omnivore. The proportion of omnivores did not increase and they are not to be found especially among the younger generations. Thirdly, upward social mobility cannot account for the decreasing interest in highbrow culture among the younger generations either. Differences in socialization between generations (fourthly), offer the best explanation for the divergence in cultural participation.