Study Paints Us As Musical Snobs

Wealth and education don't influence a person's breadth of taste — but they definitely seem to shape the types of music we choose.

Poorer, less educated folk tend to like country, disco, easy listening, golden oldies, heavy metal, and rap, whereas wealthier and better-educated counterparts gravitate toward genres such as classical, blues, jazz, opera, choral, pop, reggae, rock, world, and musical theatre.

...musical tastes that designates blues, choral, classical, jazz, musical theater, opera, pop, reggae, rock, and world/international as relatively highbrow and country, disco, easy listening, golden oldies, heavy metal, and rap as relatively lowbrow. Of the highbrow tastes, all but jazz are disliked by lower class people, and of the lowbrow tastes, country, easy listening, and golden oldies are concurrently disliked by higher class people. Consistent with the homology thesis, it appears that class position is aligned with specific musical likes and dislikes.

That's the verdict arrived at after U of BC polled 1600 Vancouver and Toronto residents by phone on listening habits over 21 genres.

Published in the Canadian Review of Sociology, the study, which was authored by UBC sociology professor Gerry Veenstra, also found that the respondents tended to dislike the musical styles that were outside their class.

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