The Context and Genesis of Musical Tastes: Omnivorousness Debunked, Bourdieu Buttressed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper contributes to the growing qualitative counter-attack against the statistics-based thesis that musical tastes are increasingly ‘omnivorous’ in character, at least amongst the privileged, and that this can be explained via the quasi-Bourdieusian notion of a new ‘open’ or ‘cosmopolitan disposition’. Drawing on a research project examining life histories and lifestyles in the UK city of Bristol it argues that, when the nuances of Bourdieu’s perspective and shifts in the musical field and social conditions are taken into account, not only the genesis but the differentiation of musical tastes which, on the surface, seem omnivorous are wholly consistent with the original model laid out in Distinction. Clear differences between preferred types of music and familiar aesthetic orientations are present, as are their origins in classed resources and experiences. That they have not been detected hitherto is, it notes, due more to the methodological decisions and categories of extant research than anything else.
Translated title of the contributionThe Context and Genesis of Musical Tastes: Omnivorousness Debunked, Bourdieu Buttressed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169 - 186
Number of pages18
JournalPoetics
Volume39
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Elsevier

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