In my opinion, the antecedent of which(line8) is not ethnic identity or geographical location but culture-based differences. But why is it used as defining clause, not non-defining one? The former doesn't make sense to me.

From a sociological perspective, it has been useful to view the construct of culture from a somewhat dichotomous perspective in which the notion of the cultural insider can be contrasted with that of the cultural outsider. Contemporary scholarship has drawn attention to the complexity of this comparison and the considerable subjectivity that lies at the heart of such an often, oversimplified bifurcation. Although music is often associated with cultural identity and therefore susceptible to insider/outsider categorization, the ease with which an individual interacts with any given culture’s music may be more nuanced. Culture-based differences in the way listeners and performers interact with and respond to music are often delineated by ethnic identity or geographical location which are, in turn, generally treated as categorical constructs. As such, they tend to oversimplify complex relationships, obscure considerable within-group variability, and, most critically, do not hold up well when considering a brain-based understanding of music processing.

  • 2
    I'd say it refers to "ethnic identity or geographical location". It should probably be non-defining.
    – BillJ
    Apr 24, 2022 at 12:34
  • But if 'which' refers to 'ethnic identity or geographical location', shouldn't the verb be 'is', not 'are,' because 'a singular or a singular noun' is followed by a singular verb?
    – Sungry
    Apr 24, 2022 at 22:41
  • With my current display settings, the bold "which" appears not on line 8 but on line 23.
    – phoog
    Oct 7, 2023 at 9:58

1 Answer 1


According the the Cambridge Dictionary, the words "in turn" mean "because of that". The example is a sentence where A causes B, and B causes C. Here is the example:

Stress causes your body to release chemicals, which in turn boost blood pressure

A is stress which causes B the release of chemicals, and B causes C boosted blood pressure.

In your example A is Culture based differences, B is ethnic identity or geographic location and C is categorical constructs. The sentence relates not to causality, but the sequence of analysis that people (wrongly, in the opinion of the author) use: A can be analysed as B, and B can be analysed as C.

I would probably interpret it as I have explained without in turn. With those words, that's definitely the meaning.

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