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Title: Authentic performances and ambiguous identities : Gypsy musicians on the Greek Albanian border
Author: Theodosiou, Aspasia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 1444
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis addresses how tensions around the politics of othering and the marking of 'difference' constructed and pursued in and through music emerge and unfold in a place that has been historically constructed and reconstructed as ambiguous/marginal and around people who figure ambiguously in the national imaginary. Drawing on 14 months of fieldwork among some of the gypsy musicians on the Greek-Albanian border, the Parakalamos gypsies, the thesis explores how these tensions are being reformulated within the recent emphasis on multiculturalism and cultural heritage in Greece. A key concern is how place and its locatedness (physical and symbolic) are implicated in processes of othering and are played out in and through music/music playing. It is proposed that the ambiguities embedded in gypsy music playing are reinforced by and resonate with the same ambiguities that permeate the construction of place. It is argued that for gypsies, this process involves no 'separate' and 'self contained' gypsy 'culture' or identity. Instead, the thesis argues that gypsy senses of 'be-longing' are manifested through ongoing encounters: located and locating performances, which generate a sense of identification rather than a fixed identity. An implication of this lack of a sense of fixed identity is that gypsies' marginality - what I call a location in- between -does not entail the possibility of challenging hegemonic constructions of identity It amounts instead to the catachresis (misuse and! or condemnation) of their 'difference'- its mis-recognition. Ethnographically, the thesis focuses on two main areas. Firstly, there is an exploration of the main processes involved in the embodied practices of using music to 'identity' people and place and the way these are connected to the ambiguous/marginal character of place on the Greek-Albanian border. Secondly, it explores the implications of such marginality for the way inter-ethnic relations (between gypsies and non-gypsies) are experienced and practised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available