Among the ever-growing body of publications on popular music, all but a small minority have tended to deal exclusively with the capitalist world. The relative neglect of the workings of popular music in socialist countries has led to an unfortunate lacuna in descriptive studies and, perhaps more importantly, a potential bias in theoretical studies. Popular cultures in socialist states may share many features with their counterparts in the capitalist world, but they are also likely to differ in several important aspects, including, for example, the role of the market, of the bureaucracy, of state cultural policy, the limits on commercialism and the entire ideological climate fostered by socialism. Consequently, many of the theoretical generalisations about popular music, based on studies of the capitalist world, must be revised or qualified when socialist countries are considered.
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