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Listening To Bruce Springsteen Makes You Racist?

Written by Alex Langlands on March 7, 2012

The Daily Mail reports that listening to just a few minutes of mainstream rock such as The White Stripes or Bruce Springsteen is enough to make white students more conscious of other whites, while neglecting African Americans and Latinos (I too am confused). On the contrary, those who listened to Top 40 music such as Akon and Chris Brown were more inclined to being racially accepting.

According to the article published by the British newspaper, “Students were told they were taking part in a study of how funds should be distributed in college – and offered a range of ethnic-based groups to share money between. After listening to Bruce Springsteen and the White Stripes, the students handed most of the money to white people.” . The somewhat peculiar test has received mixed feedback from the general public.

Assistant professor Heather LaMarre spoke out about the test, saying that “Rock music is generally associated with white Americans, so we believe it cues white listeners to think about their positive association with their own in-group”. The test then saw the same target group listen to Top 40 music such as Akon and Fergie, which saw the students divide the money more equally amongst the group that included Caucasians, African Americans and Latinos.

In response to the findings about mainstream Rock, associate professor Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick said that ‘It shows that it is not just the lyrics that matter. Good, old-fashioned rock and roll – with no incendiary or hateful lyrics at all – was enough of a cue to increase the percentage of money allocated for the white-American group,’ She continued, ‘This appears to be the first study to show that music genre itself, not just the lyrics, has the potential to be a very powerful influence on people.’

Suppose there are some benefits of listening to Justin Bieber and One Direction after all.

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