Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The South falls again, musically

A newly published study of music that people dislike indicates growing alienation from genres “that appeal to disproportionately white, rural, Southern audiences,” Tom Jacobs reports in Pacific Standard:


The study, by University of Notre Dame sociologists Omar Lizardo and Sara Skiles, published in the journal Poetics (not accessible online), found that 2,250 participants, asked in 2012 about 18 different styles of music, expressed greater dislike of country, bluegrass, folk and religious or gospel music, than that found in a comparable survey conducted in 1993.

“Fairly or not, many Americans associate these genres with racism, religiosity, and a nationalistic mindset. It’s likely that in expressing their distaste for those genres, people outside the South and rural West are symbolically rejecting the belief systems they represent,” Jacobs writes.

The 2012 survey results found less dislike of classical music, opera, jazz, Latin, rap, rock, and heavy metal than in the 1993 survey. Results for show tunes, blues, rhythm and blues and reggae were about the same in the two surveys.

Young respondents with high educational levels “were more likely than their counterparts of 20 years ago to declare their distaste for classical music and jazz, as well as rock ’n’ roll” and were more receptive to rap and hip-hop musics, Jacobs writes. “This suggests they are using rap and hip-hop to differentiate themselves from the older generation of well-to-do Americans.”

(via www.artsjournal.com)