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Class dis-identification, cultural stereotypes, and music preferences: Experimental evidence from the UK

Reeves, Aaron and Gilbert, Emily and Holman, Daniel (2015) Class dis-identification, cultural stereotypes, and music preferences: Experimental evidence from the UK. Poetics. ISSN 0304-422X. DOI 10.1016/j.poetic.2015.01.002 (In Press)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.poetic.2015.01.002

Abstract

Do people change their cultural preferences in social interactions where social class is particularly salient? It remains unclear whether cultural preferences vary across interactions or whether they are stable over time. We argue that individuals may alter their cultural preferences over time and that this will be influenced by both the specifics of a particular social interaction and the ‘cultural politics of class’ in which that interaction is embedded. Using a lab-based split-ballot experiment in a research university in the East of England (n = 300), we examine preferences towards music genres depending on whether respondents are assigned to one of three experimental conditions: (1) a vignette describing someone who is working class, (2) a vignette describing someone who is middle class or (3) no vignette. Those born in the UK alter the strength of their preferences towards highbrow music genres when social class is made more salient. When the salience of class is increased it also activates particular cultural stereotypes and these stereotypes influence the strength of respondents’ preferences towards highbrow music genres. This mechanism suggests that individuals use cultural stereotypes in social interaction to position themselves and others in the social hierarchy through cultural preferences.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: social class, music preferences, experiment, cultural sociology
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2015 11:31
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2015 11:31
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