May 04, 2021

Study in Germany: "Gangsta-Rap" promotes antisemitic attitudes

According to a study, “Gangsta Rap” promotes antisemitic and misogynistic attitudes among young listeners. The influence therefore has less of an impact on female consumers and on listeners with high school education. This is the result of a study by Bielefeld University, which the antisemitism commissioner for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.

"The study proves empirically for the first time that gangsta rap prepares the breeding ground for later solidified antisemitic attitudes," explained Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger in a press release. "We are not allowed to watch musicians propagate antisemitism and indoctrinate young people with texts that glorify violence and are misogynistic."

The “Center for Prevention and Intervention in Children and Adolescents” at Bielefeld University, which she commissioned, conducted individual and group interviews for the study in cooperation with an opinion research institute between 2019 and 2021. In addition, according to the study directors, a target group of 500 between 12 to 24 year olds representative of NRW was interviewed using a questionnaire.

An index variable antisemitism was formed from the items, on the basis of which the respondents were divided into three groups: very antisemitic (26.5%), somewhat antisemitic (37%) and not antisemitic 36.5%


 Distribution of antisemitism groups (representation in percent)

"Our results show that there is a direct connection between the consumption of gangsta rap and the tendency to share antisemitic and misogynistic statements," summarized the Bielefeld educational scientist Marc Grimm. "Antisemitic and misogynist attitudes are also evident in listeners with a higher level of educational capital." Contrary to popular belief, gangsta rap is not consumed more than average by young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

More than one in three respondents believe that rappers draw attention to important political issues. Above all, antisemitic allusions in text and images are "often not recognized and understood as such".

While the results show a direct connection between the consumption of gangsta rap and antisemitic, misogynistic and chauvinist attitudes, such an influence on racist attitudes cannot be measured. "This is the first time that a youth survey has indicated that antisemitic attitudes exist independently of racist attitudes," the researchers found.

“Gangsta Rap” often describes the life of a gangster in texts and images that glorify violence. The music genre has been part of youth culture for many years.

Source: zeit