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Title: The social life of music : commodification, space, and identity in world music production
Author: Van Klyton, Aaron
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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This project examines the ways in which commodification and identity work in the particular context of world music production. I trace the path of world music of West African origin as it connects different people, ideas, and objectives in the London world music scene. I look at how commodification occurs in this context and the implications for how identity gets (re)-constructed during the commodification processes to suit a variety of individual needs. The paper empirically examines some theoretical assumptions about space, representation, and commodification by problematizing them as three key aspects of this production/consumption process. Lastly, the thesis shows how performance spaces become spaces of performance through the interactions of various social actors, namely, the musicians, promoters, and DJs and that world music is a site of struggle over representation. Drawing on ethnographic approaches used in the fieldwork, I demonstrate the relationship that relatively small players in the local world music scene maintain with the larger structural forces that control the industry. In doing so they create value for the art and for themselves. The thesis is an effort to understand the ways in which identity can shift and is relational with respect to space and power. It contributes to literature on geography and music, music and identity, and commodification.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available