By consuming pop music, people want to express who they are, to which group they belong, what their identity is. People's identity, however and contrary to what many believe, is not strictly individual. Instead, people's identity is highly social and draws on the socio-cultural values (VALUES) in society - VALUES that become objectified or institutionalized and may thus be communicated to others. If such institutionalized socio-cultural values are not conceptualized, and if one is not able to understand how institutions work in signaling people's identity, one is not able to explain a phenomenon such as the advent of pop music. Ideas taken from institutional and social economics are applied and developed to understand the consumption of a symbolic good such as pop music.