There is an interesting article in a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, "Where Have All the Rock Stars Gone," on the disappearance of a shared pop music culture, by David Shumway, a professor of English and literary and cultural studies at Carnegie Mellon University. He discusses how we are losing a common popular culture and trading it for a "niche-ified," "i-Poddian" world of fragmenation. The article is at the following web address:
The points are well-taken, but this niche effect has probably led to same positives--more types of music being heard and some broadening of our tastes across what used to be musical boundaries. It is not clear whether it really is divisive. The article mirrors some of the points in the book, The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, on businesses being able to sell to smaller, more diverse audiences.
I welcome readers' comments.