“You’re Not Supposed to Be into Rock Music”: Authenticity Maneuvering in a White Configuration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The authors investigate how American and Dutch rock music consumers navigate the whiteness of rock music practice and discourse. In doing so, they address the complex connection between aesthetic categories (popular music) and ethnoracial categories and to what extent this relationship is open or resistant to structural change. Connecting literature on the racialization of cultural genres and on symbolic violence, the authors demonstrate how authentication through faithfulness to preestablished sociocultural configurations reinforces the whiteness of rock music consumption in both countries in very similar ways. The analysis of 27 in-depth interviews produces a threefold typology of positions that rock consumers take up vis-à-vis the sociocultural configuration of rock music authenticity: complying, amending, and replacing. From a position of complicity to this configuration, people of color are often a priori regarded as inauthentic participants, also by outsiders who consider them to “act white.” However, the analysis indicates that the shift toward a symbolic economy of authenticity enables actors to resist white hegemony as discursive authenticity at the expense of the more rigid dispositional and agentic variations underlying symbolic violence. This allows an active amending of the hegemonic configuration within the genre—authenticity maneuvering—by replacing the discourse, forging new spaces of consumption, and installing heavily policed inclusive practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-430
Number of pages14
JournalSociology of Race and Ethnicity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2020

Research programs



Dive into the research topics of '“You’re Not Supposed to Be into Rock Music”: Authenticity Maneuvering in a White Configuration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this