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Title: Pop and the periphery : nationality, culture and Irish popular music.
Author: McLaughlin, Noel.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3625 5396
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis seeks to consider the relationship between 'rock' and 'Irishness' • between transnational pop and the nation-state • challenging the 'orthodox' view that Irish rock embodies uniquely Irish characteristics. It is about Irish popular music and identity and is primarily concerned with the relationship between culture and meaning. It argues that the study of popular music as 'text' is important to the more general study of culture (even though the notion of text in popular music is problematic). The thesis seeks to explore how meaning is made in popular music culture across a shifting and unstable textual matrix. Authenticity is a central concept here and I examine discourses of Irish authenticity and essentialism and their relationship to authenticity in rock. The study of Irish rock is, I argue, important to wider debates about identity and globalisation, especially in debates about the relationship between national music cultures and an increasingly globalised market. I undertake an exploration of the concept of cultural hybridity and assess both its strengths and its limitations to tbe study of popular music and debates about national identity. Hybridity, I argue, is important in that it helps break down the essentialising force of both the main discourses of authenticity outlined, becoming useful in moving beyond discourses of cultural purity. Howeve~ hybridity discourse also has problems and frequently there is a Jack of discrimination between different types of hybrid text which may result ina simple celebration of hybrids and hybridity. Thus, the complex relationship between popular music, the articulation of identity in pop songs (and across pop's mobile textuality) and in discourse about pop is overlooked. In this way, the thesis argues that the study of popular music culture in specific contexts may reveal the limitations of existing cultural studies work on hybridity, textuality and meaning. This is part of a broader project of arguing for more detailed consideration of music, meaning and pleasure in regional and peripheral national contexts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Folk; Rock; Popular; Revival