Popular music can have a function in the creation of boundaries between groups, particularly regarding race and ethnicity. Music genres such as rock or hip-hop do not only reflect ethno-racial groups, but are often structured along ethno-racial lines. Based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of 577 rock music album reviews, this article investigates (i) to what extent ethno-racial boundaries are (re)produced and/or contested in the critical and consumer reception of rock music in the Netherlands and the United States between 2003 and 2013, (ii) to what extent professional reviewers and consumer reviewers differ from each other regarding ethno-racial classifications in their reception of rock music, and (iii) whether there is a difference between the ethno-racial context of the Netherlands and the United States. Albums by non-white artists tend to receive lower evaluations than those by white artists, particularly when reviewed by consumer critics. Although both types of reviewers often ignore talking about race ‐ echoing a colour-blind ideology, professional critics are more explicit and colour-conscious regarding non-white participation in rock music. Furthermore, five different mechanisms are employed by reviewers as part of ethno-racial boundary work: (i) ethno-racial comparisons, (ii) inter-genre comparisons, (iii) positive ethno-racial marking, (iv) negative ethno-racial marking and (v) minimization and irony.

witheid, ras/etniciteit, populaire muziek, sociale ongelijkheid, subculturen
dx.doi.org/10.5117/SOC2018.2/3.004.SCHA, hdl.handle.net/1765/123709
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Schaap, J.C.F, & Berkers, P.P.L. (2019). De nieuwe Hendrix: witheid als scheidslijn in de evaluatie van rockmuziek in Nederland en de Verenigde Staten. Sociologie, 14(2-3), 119–146. doi:10.5117/SOC2018.2/3.004.SCHA