Monday, March 21, 2005

Of the People?

Well, I had a nice post that blogger just ate up. Arrrrggghhhhh! I'll try and reconstruct it now, but it just won't be the same. Oh well.

Basically, I was speculating upon the socieconomic class of readers of Asian-American poetry. I was commenting on the fact that some people think that readers of poetry, in general, tend to be of a higher socioeconomic class. I was saying that, though I instinctively recoil against the notion that poetry is an elitist art form that should only be for "elites," these people may have a point in that people who have the money to buy poetry books, the time to read poems/go to poetry readings, and the ability to access the sometimes elitist style, diction, tone, subject matter, form of poems are probably richer/more well-educated, on average, just demographically speaking.

I was speculating that it is possible that the average reader of Asian-American poetry may be of an even higher socioeconomic class than the average reader of poetry, in general, due to the fact that Asian-Americans -- who constitute a large though definitely not exclusive audience of Asian-American poetry -- tend to be of a higher socioeconomic class on average, notwithstanding the fact that there are still wide variations in wealth.

I said more, and I said it better, but that's the gist of it.


Blogger pam said...

Isn't this perception linked to some issues underlying your previous entry (on critics of identity-based poetry), in that at least part of the resistance to said poetries has to do with the public perception (however overgeneralized, however tangential to the point) that Asian Americans don't really have a socioeconomic claim to oppressed minority status.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Roger Pao said...

Hey Pam, thanks for the post. Interesting point. I would say, however, that most critics of identity-based poetry wouldn't merely critique Asian-American but African-American, Latino poetry, etc. and perhaps the poetries of other groups like feminist and gay/lesbian poetry as well. But I do think that it is possible that a resistance to Asian-American poetry could arise from the presumption that Asian-Americans aren't "oppressed," at least socioeconomically.

7:32 PM  

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