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Music and the Sociological GazeArt Worlds and Cultural Production$
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Peter J. Martin

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072161

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072161.001.0001

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Class, culture and concerts

Class, culture and concerts

(p.77) 5 Class, culture and concerts
Music and the Sociological Gaze

Peter J. Martin

Manchester University Press

For Bourdieu, there is a close relationship — important to his theory of cultural transmission — between musical taste and a person's position in the socio-economic hierarchy, and it has been argued that this is because styles of music symbolically represent class values. However, this chapter suggests that empirical evidence provides little support for the assumption of a tight class-music nexus. At best, the relationship is much ‘looser’ than is often supposed. The discussion proposes that studies of the ways in which music is used and defined by social groups offer a better way of understanding it than the assumption of a ‘homology’ between them.

Keywords:   class-music nexus, music, Bourdieu, cultural transmission, musical taste, social groups, class values, socio-economic hierarchy

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