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Birds of a Feather Sing Together

Noah Mark
Social Forces
Vol. 77, No. 2 (Dec., 1998), pp. 453-485
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3005535
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3005535
Page Count: 33
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Birds of a Feather Sing Together
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Abstract

This article presents an ecological theory of musical preference. A core idea of the theory is that musical forms depend on people for their existence. The theory argues that people are a resource for types of music; musical forms compete for the time, energy, and preferences of individuals. Musical types carve out niches in different sociodemographic segments of society. According to the theory, the niche pattern develops because musical preferences are transmitted through homophilous social network ties; similar people interact with each other and develop similar musical tastes. The article develops six hypotheses that relate individuals' social positions to their musical preferences. Tests with 1993 General Social Survey data support these hypotheses.

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