You Are What You Hear: The Relationship Among Race,Class, Genderand Musical Taste Open Access

Coward Bucher, Carrie (2009)

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You Are What You Hear: The Relationship Among Race, Class, Gender and Musical Taste By: Carrie Coward Bucher This dissertation makes use of Tajfel's social identity theory to illuminate the social psychological processes that underlie Bourdieu's Theory of Taste as it applies to personal preferences for musical genres. A small convenience sample of undergraduate students is used to assess perceptions of the prototypical listener of a particular genre and to explore the ways in which those perceptions may color respondents' willingness to denigrate that genre. Additionally, using the 1993 General Social Survey, a hierarchical cluster analysis reveals that the intersection of race and lower education leads to a particular disdain for country and heavy metal music. Lastly, I provide evidence for a re-imagining of Bourdieu's Theory of Taste where social identities act as a mechanism for the development of personal taste and its use in boundary making processes.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction...1 II. Background Theory...5

A. Cultural Capital...5 B. Cultural Capital Debate...11 C. Social Identity Theory...15 D. Combining Strengths...18

III. Social Location and Taste...21

A. Omnivores...23 B. Recent Advances in the Omnivore Literature...24 C. Multiple Axes of Stratification...29 D. Perceptions and Social Boundaries...32 E. Dynamic Taste Clusters...34 F. Conclusion...34

IV. Fusing BTT and SIT...35

A. Identity and Cultural Consumption...36 B. Identity and omni/uni-vorousness...41 C. Conclusion...45

V. Methods...45

A. Data Sets...46 B. Genre Associations...48 C. Audience Segmentation...50 D. Identity and Omnivorousness...53 E. Disliking and Denigration...56

VI. Results...57

A. Genre Associations...57 B. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis...62 C. Identity and Omnivorousness...67 D. Dislike and Denigration...71

VII. Discussion...72

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