Today’s Sociology Defined by Music Tastes —According to a new study published recently in the journal Poetics, Americans shifting tastes in music define how we see ourselves in relation to those around us. University of Notre Dame Sociologists Omar Lizardo and Sara Skiles replicated a 1993 study where 1,606 participants were presented with a list of 18 music genres and asked if they liked, disliked, or had “mixed feelings” about each. Sociologists view the rejection of certain genres as a reflection of how we feel about the people associated with the respective genres.
In the 2012 study, Lizardo and Skiles surveyed 2,250 Americans and asked them about 15 musical genres. The most marked change over the 1993 study was a steep decline in the probability of young people rejecting rap and hip-hop (and also heavy metal). The biggest shift was in highly educated youth, suggesting these genres help them to differentiate themselves from more well-to-do, older Americans.
By 2012, the overall probability of disliking decreased for classical, opera, jazz, Latin, rap, rock, and metal, but increased for country, bluegrass, folk, and religious/Gospel music. Likes/dislikes remained roughly the same for show tunes, blues, R&B, and reggae. According to researchers, these results demonstrate that the music most disliked today are genres that “appeal to disproportionately white, rural, Southern audiences,” which many people fairly, or not, associate with racism, religiosity, and nationalism.
For more details on this study visit: http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/what-the-music-you-hate-says-about-you.