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Br J Sociol. 2008 Mar;59(1):117-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-4446.2007.00185.x.

Our favourite melodies: musical consumption and teenage lifestyles.

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Department of Social Science, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Canada.


The present study explores the determinants and lifestyle correletes of musical preferences among a large sample of high school students in Toronto, Ontario. Our work is informed by theory and research on cultural stratification and adolescent subcultures. In terms of cultural stratification, we engage with Bourdieu's (1984) and Peterson's (1996) conceptualizations of elite taste, while subcultural theory encourages us to focus upon more dissenting tastes and to explore connections between musical tastes and peer group activity. Our findings suggest that racial and ethnic identity, school experiences and cultural capital are significant sources of variation in musical tastes that loosely correspond to existing typologies; they also confirm what has often been inferred - that musical tastes and peer group cultural practices are closely linked. Our findings are then discussed in the light of current debates about the nature and dimensions of listening audiences for music.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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