Wyrzykowska, Katarzyna, Zawadska, Kinga, Domanski, Henryk & Przybysz, Darius: Between East and West – cultural practices and Poles’ musical tastes

In the debates on the stratification of culture, musical tastes play a specific role. As Bourdieu (1984) argues, it is music which best reflects the analogies between cultural behaviours and class hierarchy, and “nothing more infallibly classifies than tastes in music.” This belief has been confirmed in many studies. Music is not taught and learnt at school in the same way as other spheres of art (e.g. literature), but it is surrounded by the whole area of cultural practices which is under a huge influence of social environment, especially family (Coulangeon and Lemel 2007).

The main purpose of this presentation is to show the cultural practices and musical tastes of Poles and an attempt to answer the question whether Poles musical tastes are more similar to those recognized in the Western countries (e.g. Prieur, Rosenlund, Skjott-Larsen 2008; Bennett et al. 2009; Rössel, Schroedter 2015) or maybe are closer to those observed in the other post-socialist countries (e.g. Cveticanin, Antović 2007; Cvetacanin, Popescu 2011)? During our presentation we will refer to issues present in contemporary debates on the stratification of culture and musical tastes such as the homology in cultural stratification, the omnivore thesis and the rise of the cosmopolitan orientation.

The presentation will be based on a quantitative research (nationwide random sample) carried out in 2019 as part of a research project entitled „Musical distinctions. Musical tastes and social stratification in process of Poles lifestyles formation” (www.md.ifispan.pl). The main objective of the project is to determine to what extent lifestyle, with musical taste being its indicator, affects social stratification in the Polish context. The relationship between social stratification and lifestyle has not been yet examined in Poland in as much detail and depth as e.g. French or Scandinavian tastes that – as one may hope – makes our research a step towards understanding a complex syndrome of cultural forms. Project is conducted by Institute of Philosophy and Sociology Polish Academy of Sciences and financed by Poland’s National Science Center.