Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Music in young Maltese women's lives
Author: Chircop, Tatjana
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study explores how young Maltese women give meaning to the music they listen to and how this music is incorporated in everyday discourses and identities within the differing local contexts of their lives. This area of research has not attracted the attention of researchers and this study starts to fill this gap. The research was carried out in Malta, a post-colonial island with a population of approximately 400,000 people. Through purposive sampling and snowballing, 20 in-depth interviews were carried out with young Maltese women aged 16-34, from different social backgrounds. By looking at young Maltese women’s identities through their engagements with music, this study shows how girls experience the tensions between the opposing forces of Maltese traditional music and more modern globalised musical forms. Music was found to be a means of conspicuous leisure as well as a means of maintaining social difference and distinction. Musical taste and the social practices associated with that particular music was found to be a primary indicator of social class for Maltese girls. The significance of this study lies in the exploration of a topic that has not yet been properly researched. It combines the Maltese context and the gendered nature of identity formation in Malta’s music scene. The framework of categorisation of respondents is also significant since rather than categorising respondents according to the music they listen to, it categorises respondents through the ways in which they engage with their music. By developing Willis’s (1978) analytical framework, participants were placed into four categories of Fully Committed, Committed, Active Drifters and Passive Drifters. For each category, the most prominent characteristics of participants’ music identities are analysed. These include their understandings of social and cultural capital, structure and agency, negotiations of social boundaries and identity formation. The idea of distinct music subcultures is questioned as, in their everyday lives, young women in Malta rarely conform with distinct cultural groups but form parts of multiple groups within the contexts of their lives. Moreover, processes of hybridization seem to have erased what might have been understood as a subculture’s distinguishing characteristics. These have often become adopted and eventually absorbed by mainstream culture making distinct subcultures problematic. The findings of the research imply tensions between traditional and modern lifestyles that are, in turn, associated with different strata of social class.
Supervisor: Bradford, S.; Alldred, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Processes of identity formation through music ; Hybrid identites ; Music subcultures and social class ; Global and local ; Private and public