Testing the “Omnivore/Univore” Hypothesis in a Cross-National Perspective. On the Social Meaning of Ecletism in Musical Tastes : Paper presented at the Summer meeting of the ISA RC28, UCLA – 19/08/2005
The Summer meeting of the ISA RC28, UCLA
Are musical tastes still strongly and universally correlated with social class, as asserted by Pierre Bourdieu in a suggestive formulation (Bourdieu, 1984, p. 158) . A lot of evidences, based on the sociological literature on tastes and cultural consumption, support the robustness of this correlation, while less straightforwardly defined than stated by Bourdieu. Indeed, this correlation appears to be slightly defined as a correspondence between social stratification and cultural legitimacy scale (i.e. highbrow arts and culture for the upper middle classes vs. lowbrow arts and culture for the lower classes. see Gans, 1974; Levine, 1988), and it tends to be more adequately described as a matter of scope of tastes and cultural habits, as stated by Richard Peterson, basically opposing the quite ‘omnivorous’ upper-middle classes, listening as much higbrow music as middlebrow or lowbrow music, to the more ‘univorous’ popular classes, narrowly restricted to a limited number of lowbrow musical genres (Peterson & Simkus, 1992; Peterson &Kern, 1996) (...).