No Waitrose, no cry: Why the music you listen to defines your social class - and Bob Marley fans are decidedly middle class

 
Sarah Spickernell
Follow Sarah
Lost in Wagner or enjoying some hip-hop? (Source: Getty)
The music you most enjoy listening to is a strong indicator of your social class, according to new research from the University of British Columbia - and it turns out those who like reggae are surprisingly middle class.
By asking 1,600 adults from varying backgrounds about their feelings towards 21 different genres of music, the researchers found both likes and dislikes were closely associated with class.
"What people don't want to listen to also plays a key role in creating class boundaries. What upper class people like is disliked by the lower class, and vice versa," explained Gerry Veenstra, author of the study.
For example, the least-educated people in the study were over eight times more likely to dislike classical music compared to the best-educated respondents. Meanwhile, genres such as country, easy listening and golden oldies were disliked by higher-class listeners.
Some were very specific in their tastes, while others had broader tastes. If you're the latter, it'll be trickier to place you.
"Breadth of taste is not linked to class. But class filters into specific likes and dislikes,"Veenstra continued.
Where do you fit in? Below is a guide to “high class” and “low class” music genres.

THE LOW-BROW GENRES

Country

Disco

Golden oldies

Heavy metal

Rap

Related articles