Globalization of Millennial's' Music Consumption: A cross-national music taste study of undergraduate students in China and the U.S.

by Yifan Xu

Institution: The Ohio State University
Department: Arts Policy and Administration
Degree: MA
Year: 2015
Keywords: Arts Management; Cultural Anthropology; Music taste; Cultural globalization; Cross-national comparison; Music consumption
Record ID: 2058903
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1420741275


The Millennial Generation lives in an ever-changing globalization era when their tastes are subject to various social influences. A "culture cycle" integrating consumption and production sectors, exerts impact on their music taste, by mediating the meaning-making process for music consumers. Based on concepts from Bourdieu’s cultural habitus and Peterson's production of cultural perspective, this study adapts a hybrid music taste formation model that includes six factors: cultural convention, education, social network, technology accessibility, industry structure and cultural policy. They all possess significant influence on Millennials’ music tastes in contemporary society.This research is a pilot comparative study on Millennials’ music tastes in China and the U.S. By choosing this generation, I assume their music taste has an omnivorous tendency due to the globalization impact. Apart from testing the omnivores hypothesis, I also evaluated the types of globalization in each country drawing on the regional specified Millennials’ music tastes, influenced by global-local interactions. A Millennials’ Music Consumption Survey conducted in two universities in China and the U.S. respectively. The responses suggested distinct music taste patterns. Students from both countries demonstrate an omnivorous taste pattern with music preferences spreading across a wide spectrum of music genres, from Classical music to Pop and Rock music. However, U.S. students preferred Alternative music the most whereas the Chinese students liked Easy Listening. U.S. students represented multi-culturalism in their music tastes and consumption behaviors, while the Chinese students demonstrated glocalization characteristics in the sample. In contemporary society, the cultural and social backgrounds still play the biggest role in the formation of Millennials’ music taste.Reflections on the implication of my findings are instructive to policy makers and industry practitioners who are concerned with strategic plans aiming to enhance cultural exchange and cross-cultural understanding in the Millennial Generation’s daily life. Further research could be done on the different perception of music of Chinese and the U.S. Millennials with larger samples and improved survey.