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Audiences and everyday aesthetics : talking about good and bad music

[journal article]

Hesmondhalgh, David

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Abstract The first part of this article outlines a dilemma in cultural studies and sociology of culture regarding the politics of aesthetics. This concerns whether discourse about the evaluation of symbolic forms serves to reinforce power relations and maintain divisions between people and communities, or whether evaluation can serve as a basis for greater commonality. One way of at least beginning to address this issue is to attend to the 'everyday aesthetics' of media audiences, exemplified here in the ordinary evaluative discourse of music users. The second part of the article reports on interview research about musical tastes and values. It analyses these interviews for evidence of the ways in which evaluative statements might involve making connections with others, or alternatively how they may act as barriers to social connectivity or community. How and to what extent might ordinary musical evaluation be thought of as part of potential aesthetic public spheres?
Classification Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Art, Sociology of Literature; Other Media
Free Keywords audiences; commonality; emotion; everyday aesthetics; music; public sphere; sociological aesthetics; taste;
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 507-527
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 10 (2007) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)