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Title: The charro cantor : a mediation between rural and urban culture
Author: Luna de Morris, Talia Magdalena
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2004
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Abstract:
This study is a cultural history of the charro cantor who appeared with the development of the mass media in Mexico: the "talkies" and the radio in the 1930s. The emergence of the films known as the comedias rancheras, the use of rural images such as the charro and of songs in these films renders them appropriate to study within the context of the relations between mass media and popular culture. Three main questions will be addressed: 1) To what extent was the charro cantor a creation of the media? 2) At the time when these films were first shown, what was the relationship between the media and the government? 3) How do we account for the popularity of these artists in their day? In this work the term mediations is used as a conceptual framework for the study of the media and popular culture in Mexico as forming part of a process of cultural evolution. Thus, the charro cantor and the canciones rancheras are examined within the concept that mass culture did not appear suddenly and in confrontation with old popular expressions, but was part of the process of the massification in society which had started in the nineteenth century. This work traces various elements of melodrama in the comedia ranchera, especially the image of the charro, back to previous popular forms. The Introduction sets out the framework of study and offers a brief discussion of the literature concerning the charro cantor and a descriptive account of the elements which constitute the charro cantor and his music, the canciön ranchera. Chapters 1 and 2 look at the charro in his role of bandit in the nineteenth and early twentieth century serials and corridos. Chapter 3 studies the development of the charro in popular theatre and the entrance of the mariachi band in the radio industry from 1930 to 1952. Chapter 4 concentrates on the development of the cinema from the time of the post-revolutionary governments of the 1920s, to its expansion in the 1940s into a partnership between the state and the private sector. Chapters 5,6 and 7 analyse three key films between 1930 and 1952, in order to look closely at the development of the charro cantor in the comedian rancheras filmsand the way songs were used in these films. These chapters permit the study of the ranchero repertoire within the context of the films. This sheds light on how in the Mexican cinema songs were used in specific realistic settings such as the palenques (cockfight rings), cantinas and pulquerias; the serenade and the family party. This facilitates the analysis of the song narratives within the context in which they were presented to the audience and examines the types of songs included in the ranchero repertoire: corridos and serenades both old and new, canciones mexicanas from popular theatre, and canciones rancheras, the songs specially written for these films. The Appendix includes the biographies of two of the main representatives of the Charro Cantor, the stars Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante. This dissertation contributes to the field of cultural studies by the application of the concept of mediations which allows for the study of popular culture and mass media as part of a process of development, avoiding the division between high and low culture. This also permits an examination of the changes in the relationships between the media, the audience and the government. This approach makes it possible to bring together the various pre-electronic elements of the charro cantor such as the characteristics of melodrama in the narratives of the nineteenth century folletines and novelas por entrega. These forms together with popular theatre and corridos are studied with reference to their influence upon the emergence of the charro cantor image in radio and cinema. This will explain how the charro cantor was for the audience, many of them rural immigrants, a mediation, a vehicle for their transition from their rural culture to life in the city
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.407831  DOI: Not available
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