Music and Style

Natasha K. Warikoo

in Balancing Acts

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780520262102
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947795 | DOI:
Music and Style

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This chapter focuses on taste preferences in the music and style of children of immigrants in multiethnic schools in two global cities, New York and London. Hip-hop is by far the most popular music and style. Its predominance in both schools lead some rebellious teens to reject it in favor of rock and punk music, along with the associated Goth or grunge styles. However, neither a taste for hip-hop nor for rock or punk has led to anti-achievement attitudes or oppositional orientations. Music tastes in both cities are found to be remarkably similar. Globalization appears to have made hip-hop a currency for status among urban youth worldwide, suggesting that proximity to African American peers cannot explain the taste preferences of New York youth. Students in both cities and of all ethnic and racial groups are more likely to cite the media than peers as influences on their styles and tastes in music. Significant gender differences in musical taste are also found. Boys express a greater taste for rap music and hip-hop style, associated with delinquency by some authorities. However, no evidence that a taste for rap music leads to oppositional attitudes is found, explaining the perception that minority boys are more likely to engage in oppositional cultures.

Keywords: rap music; globalization; racial group; Americanization; hip-hop style

Chapter.  9446 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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