Music and identity : transformation and negotiation

Akrofi, E. A. (Eric Ayisi) ; Smit, Maria ; Thorsen, Stig-Magnus (2007)

CITATION: Akrofi, E., Smit, M. & Thorsen, S-M. (ed). 2007. Music and identity : transformation and negotiation. Stellenbosch: AFRICAN SUN MeDIA. doi:10.18820/9781919980973.

The original publication is available from AFRICAN SUNMeDIA -


BOOK BLURB: Significant political and social changes worldwide have affected music life and the role of music in society. A group of scholars from Nordic countries and from Southern Africa became interested in analysing this process and formed a research network focusing various musics' relation to individual and social indentities. This volume is the result of the Swedish South African Research Network (SSARN) that started in 2002. the unique approach is an underlying debate in the network on how different scholars have interpreted concepts as identity, musical encounters, values, and authenticity. Thus, researchers with different professional backgrounds and theoretical and methodological approaches juxtapose various concepts of identity and its relation to music and musicians. This volume broadens the concepts to include identities, which are fragmented, dislocated, repressed, modernised, liberated, chosen, and narrated. The transformation and negotiation of identities lie within the multiplicities of contrasts and nuances, which unfold in our contemporary environment. It entails processess as diverse as localisation and globalisation, appropriation and assimilation, Westernisation and Africanisation. Musicians have to transform and negotiate their identities within a continuum that includes indigenous elements, traditional beliefs, and customs, versus city living and modernity containing hybrid forms of musics and arts. Music can in the sense be instrumental in empowering and enlightening individuals and groups, but can also hamper the development of human relations. This volume offers 25 essays, written from different theoretical and methodological perspectives, in which the authors grapple with issues of music and identity in order to open interest for and on-going academic discussion on this topic.

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