[Dixielandjazz] PhysOrg: what musical taste tells us about social class

Graham Martin grahmartin at bigpond.com
Wed Jun 17 19:01:53 PDT 2015

I think I am a bit offended by being included amongst the toffee noses. I
would need to see how the UBC interview questions were slanted because the
whole thing seems a bit off-key to me.



-----Original Message-----
From: Norman Vickers [mailto:NVickers1 at cox.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, 17 June 2015 11:17 AM
Cc: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] PhysOrg: what musical taste tells us about social

To:  Musicians& Jazzfans list;  DJML; Mencken-Pensacola list
From: Norman Vickers, Jazz Society of Pensacola

I'm on Frank Forman's H.L. Menken list.  He's an omnivorous reader who had a
career in the US Dept of Education.  He has access to various sources of
information.  He sent along this article.   My comments back to him are
appended.  I send along for your information and possible comment.

-----Original Message-----
From: Frank Forman [mailto:checker at panix.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 1:52 PM
To: Transhuman Tech
Subject: PhysOrg: what musical taste tells us about social class

What musical taste tells us about social class

Jun 03, 2015

Love the opera? Hungry for hip hop? It turns out that your musical likes and
dislikes may say more about you than you think, according to UBC research.

Even in 2015, social class continues to inform our cultural attitudes and
the way we listen to music, according to the study, which was recently
published in the Canadian Review of Sociology.

"Breadth of taste is not linked to class. But class filters into specific
likes and dislikes," said Gerry Veenstra, study author and professor at
UBC's Department of Sociology.

The study involved nearly 1,600 telephone interviews with adults in
Vancouver and Toronto, who were asked about their likes and dislikes of 21
musical genres. Veenstra himself is partial to easy listening, musical
theatre and pop.

Poorer, less-educated people tended to like country, disco, easy listening,
golden oldies, heavy metal and rap. Meanwhile, their wealthier and
better-educated counterparts preferred genres such as classical, blues,
jazz, opera, choral, pop, reggae, rock, world and musical theatre.

The research touches on a hotly debated topic in cultural sociology:
whether one's class is accompanied by specific cultural tastes, or whether
"elites" are defined by a broad palette of preferences that sets them apart.

The study determines that wealth and education do not influence a person's
breadth of musical taste. However, class and other factors
- such as age, gender, immigrant status and ethnicity - shape our musical
tastes in interesting and complex ways.

What people don't want to listen to also plays a key role in creating class
boundaries. "What upper class people like is disliked by the lower class,
and vice versa," said Veenstra.

For example, the least-educated people in the study were over eight times
more likely to dislike classical music compared to the best-educated
respondents. Meanwhile, lowbrow genres such as country, easy listening and
golden oldies were disliked by higher-class listeners.

Norman Vickers responded to Frank Forman:  

Behavioral scientists are documenting folk=wisdom.  Now what they need to
work on is  EXPOSING the phonies who PRETEND  to like classical music.

There are also musical ignorami who PRETEND  to like jazz, too!


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