Popular Music Essay 1

Submitted By Tasha1979
Words: 3453
Pages: 14

‘What role does popular music play in the lives of young people in the context of their education?’

The two readings that I shall be looking at is ‘Creating Race: The Role of Taste in Youth’s Production of Identities’ by Nadine E Dolby and Lucy Green’s chapter on ‘ideology’.
In my essay I will argue how the global and local concept of popular music is used as a means for young people to construct their identity. I shall discuss how informal learning pedagogies concerning popular music can engage pupils who are usually disengaged. I shall also argue how ideological value is placed on music within the educational environment which creates social and racial class discourse.
When we think about popular music, it is exposed to the masses through its global presence. This can be through the TV, radio, shopping malls, public transport clubs, iPods, movies, or on the streets. Popular music is highly important in people’s daily lives and in some cases is essential for their social identity (Shuker, 2008, p2).
A social and cultural meaning in popular music examines how in an urban and rural spaces music is experienced on a day to day bases. Music plays a crucial role in the way people identify their relationship with everyday surroundings. This is shown in everyday popular music of western societies such as punk, metal and hip-hop. Whitley 2004 suggests that the same can be said about non-western societies whose music does not benefit from the same level of global popularity as western music.
The two texts that I shall be looking at are ‘Creating Race: The Role of Taste in Youth’s Production of identities’ by Nadine E Dolby and Lucy Green’s chapter on ‘Ideology’. Dolby (2001) writes about how racial identity in South Africa is no longer tied to the apartheid –driven cultural absolutes but are rather influenced and manipulated by the global popular culture which is shadowed by the community culture that forms ones identity. Green (1999) argues that ideology in regards to popular music is essential which maintains the social class and hierarchy by reification and legitimation.

Chris Rojeck (2007) argues that culture is always local as well as global. Global culture plays a role in peoples real life experiences within their own local communities and influences their traditions. Groups are looked upon differently due to the scare resources, whereby, a number of different customs of rights, justice and truths are developed. For this reason many types of cultural solidarity and conflicting ways of understanding the past as well as ways of interpreting the world are then built (Rojeck 2007:p2).
The South African students which Dolby interviewed use global culture as a means of constructing their identity. The students are also able to use icons and symbols of global culture to adapt racial identity. When Dolby interviews a particular student she is adamant that taste with identity will not be limited by her local culture.
Choice is a fundamental aspect of adopting taste as well as contributing in the universal habitus of what it is to be black, white or Indian. One of the interviewees, Vusi identifies with African American icons such as Michael Jackson, and Michael Jordan to construct his racial identity. What is noticeable is that these icons clearly are not from Africa itself but their cultural practices are of African –Americans. These students construct their racial identities and styles from the commodities, icons and practices of the global culture (Dolby, 2001:p64).

Simon Frith (1987) argues that “social functions of popular music include the formation of identity, the development of a sense of place and social context and the management of feelings”. What develops within listeners of popular music fans are that they are able to relate to certain genre and take on certain dress codes, languages and are able to socialise based on the influence of the influence of the music. Not only is Popular music very