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Banding TogetherHow Communities Create Genres in Popular Music$
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Jennifer C. Lena

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150765

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150765.001.0001

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On Classification Systems

On Classification Systems

(p.145) Chapter 5 On Classification Systems
Banding Together

Jennifer C. Lena

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses classification systems that exist within music and its peer culture-producing fields. It emphasizes the role of power in setting boundaries around categories and defining these categories as legitimate. It considers the application of this model of classification to the sociological study of science and collective memory. Finally, it addresses the future of music, and closes with a consideration of the link between music categories and taste. It argues that our tastes are instruments of power and that there are three important components to this instrument. First, tastes encode the power of your origins. When it comes to taste, the socialization process—specifically, the process of acquiring a “habitus”—plays a central role in shaping our desires, aspirations, and choices. Second, this socialization process teaches us not only what tastes are appropriate to our life circumstances, but also how to make meaning from the consumption process. Third, taste is used to exert and reveal power in subtle ways.

Keywords:   musical genres, classification systems, personal taste, musical taste, peer culture, power, socialization

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