Class, status, and the intergenerational transmission of musical tastes in Israel

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This paper discusses the significance of status versus class in explaining the distribution of musical tastes among Jews in Israel. We analyze 15 music genres and four clusters that represent different musical realms: highbrow, western popular, mixed popular and eastern-religious popular. We embed the status versus class question in the particular features of Israeli society by focusing on two issues. First, the extent to which cultural stratification is affected by parental social position. Second, the role played by ethnicity and religiosity in affecting cultural stratification. Three main conclusions are drawn. First, status plays a more important role than class in shaping musical tastes that represent the highbrow/lowbrow dimension in cultural consumption. Second, in Israel musical tastes are shaped by parental social position rather than respondents' social position. And third, both ethnicity and religiosity demarcate distinctions between highbrow and lowbrow tastes. The implications of these results for social stratification in Israel are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-167
Number of pages16
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Moran Talmor and Sarit Burger for research assistance. We also wish to thank Stanley Waterman, Tak Wing Chan, John Goldthorpe, and Kees Van Rees for their valuable comments and suggestions, and to participants of the ‘‘Social Status, Lifestyle and Cultural Consumption’’ project. This research is supported in part by a ESRC/AHRC grant under their Cultures of Consumption programme Phase II, award number: RES–154–25–0006.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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