Sounds Of Distinction: Analyzing Socioacoustics To Map The Combinatorial Logic Of Status And Class
AuthorRoebuck, James Clifford
Committee ChairRagin, Charles
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMusic has been studied in numerous ways. Yet, there is no research which examines the link between acoustic properties of music and social processes. Three frameworks guide my research. The Homology thesis which states that elites prefer elite culture (Bourdieu, 1984); the Omnivore thesis which argues that elites are omnivores and prefer many different types of cultural objects as compared to univores (Peterson and Simkus, 1992), and the reconciliation thesis which states that elites prefer many different types of cultural objects, but they do so in ways that are patterned (Bryson, 1996). Representative samples of songs from 18 music genres form the General Social Survey are collected and acoustic features are extracted. Sixty-one percent (61%) of the songs were correctly classified into their respective genres. The misclassifications of genres represent genres which share acoustic information in meaningful ways. Network analysis reveals a structure with three spaces, popular, elite and folk. Acoustic features are then grouped into three fundamental dimensions: timbre, rhythm, loudness. Crisp genres are grouped according to four dimensions: timbre, rhythm, loudness and genre boundary. Correspondence Analysis is used to plot the musical aversions of genre sets by class and status groups. Findings indicate that respondents with increased levels of economic capital reject genre sets with strong boundaries. This study then develops 3 socioacoustic profiles which represents a respondent's orientation towards sound. I then estimate the effects of education, income, occupational prestige, age, gender, race, religious preference, political identity, racial intolerance, political intolerance, being an omnivore and being a univore on each socioacoustic fuzzy set. Results indicate that socioacoustic profiles sets associated with elite spaces are associated with high occupational prestige, increased age, being female, not being Black, not being a univore, being politically tolerant and being racially intolerant. Contrary to the omnivore thesis, being an omnivore was not a strong predictor in each profile set. Findings support the reconciliation thesis and highlight how moving beyond class evidences differing bases of cultural structuration.