Survey data are used to explore differences between black and white participation in Euro-American and Afro-American art. Most black/white differences in Euro-American high-culture participation reflect educational inequality; but even with controls, black Americans participate at somewhat lower rates than whites. Differences are greatest for public consumption, smaller for private consumption and arts production. Blacks participate substantially more than whites in historically Afro-American art forms. Two competing explanations, a convergence theory positing acculturation and black/white convergence, and a resistance model predicting greater differences with increased economic competition, are assessed. The evidence suggests middle-class convergence with regard to Euro-American, and undiminished distinctiveness with regard to Afro-American art forms, reflecting the need of upwardly mobile minorities to maintain credible membership claims in both dominant and minority cultures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science