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The instability of omnivorous cultural taste over time

  • Author(s): Rossman, G
  • Peterson, RA
  • et al.

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© 2015 Elsevier B.V. The omnivore is a form of cultural consumer characterized by conspicuous diversity rather than refinement and exclusion. This study updates previous research comparing breadth of musical taste in 1982-1992 and finds that, contrary to expectations, the high levels of omnivorousness seen in 1992 had declined by 2002 and 2008. We find that this reversion cannot be explained by demographic trends like cohort replacement. Rather it is either the case that omnivorousness was a fad peaking some time around 1992 or we simply cannot know the changing popularity of omnivorousness over time as changes in survey methodology render direct comparisons unreliable.

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