The role of Rap/Hip Hop music in the meaning and maintenance of identity in South African youth.

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dc.contributor.author Cohen, Dror
dc.date.accessioned 2009-03-06T05:50:54Z
dc.date.available 2009-03-06T05:50:54Z
dc.date.issued 2009-03-06T05:50:54Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/6628
dc.description.abstract Although music has seemingly always formed an integral part of human culture, technological advances in contemporary society have increased both its accessibility and portability, allowing for unprecedented production and consumption of a medium that allows individuals to enact and display various social identities during day-to-day life. Furthermore, recent research has demonstrated that youth consume more music that any other age group. Thus music may be considered as a primary cultural influence in the lives of youth. While the bulk of the research conducted in understanding the form and function of this influence has been located in the disciplines of sociology and musicology, Psychologists in Europe and America have become increasingly interested in understanding the role of music in constructing and maintaining identity during this critical period of development. As a contribution to this field of application outside of these contexts and located within a qualitative framework, this study explored the role of Rap/Hip Hop music, as one of the most popular global and local genres of music, in the meaning and maintenance of identity in a cohort of South African youth. The resultant thematic framework illustrated the complex tensions negotiated by youth through assuming Hip Hop culture membership in South Africa. Importantly, the study showed that the nature of Hip Hop culture; its emphasis on self-expression, individuation and critical social awareness dovetails with many of the traditional psychological developmental theories of youth identity. Hip Hop consumption also implied appropriating identity markers from a wide range of social influences, posing challenges to the application of traditional social identity theory in accounting for in and out groupings. This was most pronounced in the way that ‘remixing’, as a governing musical principle in Hip Hop seems to resonate as key mode of identity and identification amongst its South African consumers. Thus, it seems fitting that South African youth currently in the midst of cultural, economic and political transitions would embrace an eclectic rather than rigidly bounded genre of music with such enthusiasm. In some ways then Hip Hop in South Africa, appears to provide youth with the means to remix past and present, old and new, global and local, self and other. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Rap en
dc.subject Hip Hop en
dc.subject Adolescence en
dc.subject Youth en
dc.subject South Africa en
dc.subject Popular culture en
dc.subject Identity en
dc.title The role of Rap/Hip Hop music in the meaning and maintenance of identity in South African youth. en
dc.type Thesis en


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