Collective Identity - Music


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Photocopy song lyrics!!!Start with the ‘Don’t Talk Black!’ articleDoc Brown clipNothing to do with the lesson but a good resource I found that can link in with our collective identity
  • Homework – read Keeping it reel: urban film and the riots – leads on from last week when we did the mind map – watch an episode of Top Boy
  • The quote above is useful to explain contemporary Black British collective identity because in the same way that Britain can be described as multi cultural, Black British identity can be said to have a different layers to it. Black British collective identity is the only identity that comes from the black diaspora that is able to mix the cultures and practices of Black Caribbean, Black Americans and Black British and then be inclusive of others races sharing in their experiences and identity.
  • It’s important in the exam that you keep focused on the here and now the contemporary but to be able to talk with some relevance about the contemporary texts you need to sometimes draw comparisons to the past and see how things have changed and how representations have changed and whyComment on the 5 year rule Kidulthood is getting old focus on the other films
  • You will need to do the same thing with music texts
  • Get them to read how black music became urban - discussBrown Sugar with lyrics Roy Brown – Good Rocking Tonight - (1947)Elvis – Good Rocking Tonight -
  • Important to note that Reggae was used as a vehicle to communicate collective struggles of the black poor. The working classes were feeling a certain way and the way that they ALL felt came out in the lyrics of the songsThe blacks in Britain in the 1970s felt a similar oppression as the Jamaicans in Jamaica (think about how Black British were treated in the 1970s – ‘Pressure’) – so the lyrics spoke to them too – there was a sense of a collective identity across the waters
  • The Wailers picture is a hyperlink to a song/videoClick on the first link and read the lyrics to Concrete Jungle – what do you think the song is talking about?Now click on the second link and read the analysis of the song lyricsBlack British artist were using the essence of the genre to speak of their own socio-political circumstances/ predicament*United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural OrganizationOn the occasion of the international day for the elimination of racial discrimination21 March 1985Public Lecture on Popular Culture as a Factor of Intercultural Understanding: The Case of ReggaeBy Professor Stuart Hall
  • Black British artist were using the essence of the genre to speak of their own socio-political circumstances/ predicament*United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural OrganizationOn the occasion of the international day for the elimination of racial discrimination21 March 1985Public Lecture on Popular Culture as a Factor of Intercultural Understanding: The Case of ReggaeBy Professor Stuart Hall
  • Back To Africa Lyrics - Black British bands were able to vocalise how the young Black youth in the 1970s and early 1980s were feeling, not accepted as British because of their Afro-Caribbean heritage and not able to ‘go back home’ because they were in fact British, their collective identity and how there positioned socially was communicated in the music of these bands.Click on the Aswad and Steel Pulse pictures to listen to the music, there is also a link for the lyrics of the Steel Pulse
  • Acculturation = modification of the culture of a group as a result of contact with a different cultureSyncretism = fusion of differing belief systems - the result is heterogeneous.Heterogeneous = consisting of elements that are not of the same kind or natureAlong with The Specials there was Smiley Culture see these links (what is he representative of?)
  • Acculturation = modification of the culture of a group as a result of contact with a different cultureSyncretism = fusion of differing belief systems - the result is heterogeneous.Heterogeneous = consisting of elements that are not of the same kind or nature
  • Consider the differences between the collective identity represented through Reggae and the collective identity represented through 2ToneDiaspora
  • HomeworkWhy can 2Tone music and bands like The Specials be seen as representation of syncretic processes that are at the root of contemporary black British collective identity?You’ll need to think aboutWhat 2Tone represented/ symbolisedHow bands like The Specials communicated collective identity at the timeAnd how what they represented is still communicated through music today (see slide 23)It will also help if you have watched the 2Tone documentary
  • Watch life of rhyme NEXT WEEK: Note to self go back over music reading to add to knowledge about grime
  • Collective Identity - Music

    1. 1. What’s this got to do with media?“…media representations of ‘race’and ethnicity are constructed inaccordance with dominantideological positionings whichserve to shape and control howindividuals understand others’, andtheir own, identities.”Fatimah AwanStuart Hall proposes thatthe media, as a principalform of ideologicaldissemination, producesrepresentations of thesocial world via images andportrayals.Fatimah AwanWe must also consider Hall’s (1990)notion that identity is not necessarily‘fixed’, but a fluid phenomena; ‘Perhapsinstead of thinking of identity as analready accomplished historical fact …we should think, instead, of identity asa “production”, which is nevercomplete, always in process…Fatimah AwanEstablishing that the media have thepower to dictate which representations ofethnic minorities are chosen andcirculated in the public arena, researchinto minority representation has revealedtwo fundamental issues underlying thearea: underrepresentation andstereotypical representation. It issuggested that through suchrepresentations, ethnic minoritiescontinue to be subordinated inaccordance with white ideologicalhegemonyFatimah Awan1
    2. 2. Ethnic minority viewers commented thatan ethnic individual alone (for example, asolitary black character in a soap) cannotrepresent the richness of an entirecommunity.Channel 4, Race, Representation and theMedia 2007, Research ReportThe repetitive framing of particular images in certainways eventually leads to those images being seen asthe definitive statement on ‘those’ people and thegroups to which ‘they’ belong . characters within “Kidulthood” areshown to be involved in criminal activities suchas drug dealing and gun making. It can be saidthat “black people, particularly Afro-Caribbeans are portrayed in the media ascriminals” as “the media are highly selective inthe way in which they construct and representthe world back to us” Kruger, Stephen. Rayner,Philip. & Wall, Peter. (2004). Media Studies:The Essential ResourceJoseph Harker wrote that “when it comes toimagery surrounding black people; I’m used torelentlessly negative - knife crime,underachievement representations”’s this got to do with media?2
    3. 3. “The hegemonic model acknowledges that muchof the media is controlled by a relatively smallgroup of people (who are generally male, middleclass and white) and that the viewpointsassociated with these groups inevitably becomeembedded in the products themselves.” Thissuggests that these small groups of people usetheir own views of ethnic minorities in order torepresent them, due to the fact that they may notknow how to represent them if they are not partof that social group themselves. This shows thataudiences are being provided with alreadyestablished views on a social group thusreiterating the hypodermic needle theory. &Baker, James. Clark, Vivienne. & Lewis, Eileen.(2003). Key Concepts & Skills for Media StudiesIt can be said that the media choose to representethnic minorities in ways which reinforcestereotypes in order to maintain a hegemonicsociety relating to how “a dominant class or groupmaintains power by making everyone accept theirideology as normal or neutral, through culturalinfluence rather than force.” &Williams, Kevin. (2003). Understanding MediaTheoryWhat’s this got to do with media?3
    4. 4. • Define the social category Black British• In the past what did it mean to be Black British?• Hypothesise what it means to be part of the collectivegroup ‘Black British’ in contemporary Britain• How do the media represent contemporary ‘BlackBritain’?• How can music artists be seen as anti-hegemonic intheir representation of ‘Black Britain’?• How can the music industry been seen as hegemonic?• How do people use the media to help form an sense ofcollective identity?Get thinking?4
    5. 5. Black British collective identity• “The creation of a supposedly multicultural society has created asituation where it’s increasingly difficult to define what it means to beBritish. There is no longer any clear distinctive about being British…”• Why is this quote useful to explain contemporary ‘Black British’collective identity?• Black Britain defines itself crucially as part of a diaspora. Its uniquecultures draw inspiration from those developed by black populationselse-where. In particular, the culture and politics of black America andthe Caribbean have become raw materials for creative processes whichredefine what it means to be black, adapting it to distinctively Britishexperiences and meanings. Black culture is actively made and re-made.(Paul Gilroy ‘Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack’ )Black British Collective Identity5
    8. 8. 8RACE MUSIC
    9. 9. MUSIC – Historical - ReggaeMusic was seen not merely as a form ofentertainment, but it also functioned as a vehiclefor social and political aspirations. Reggae music,which originated among the working classes inJamaica in the late 1960’s, was a mode ofexpressing the collective struggles of the blackpoor.In its initial stages the British reggae market wasdependent on the Jamaican one. The politicalsituation in Jamaica, which was reflected in thereggae tradition, had special significance for theblack community in Britain.Simon Jones wrote that the1970’s as a whole werecharacterised by anextraordinary degree ofsynchronisation between thepolitical ideologies expoundedin Jamaican popular music andthe conditions of race andclass oppression experiencedby Blacks in Britain. 9
    10. 10. MUSIC – Historical - ReggaeMusic by the Wailers affected the blackBritish community, especially with their firsttwo albums, Catch a Fire (1973) and Burnin(1973). In them subjects concerning anti -imperialism and racial solidarity were raised,thereby creating a sense of race and classconsciousness.‘Marley combined social comment on the life and conditions of thedispossessed classes in the Kingston ghettoes and politicalcommentary on Jamaican society with invocation of Rasta philosophy’Public Lecture on Popular Culture as a Factor of InterculturalUnderstanding: The Case of ReggaeBy Professor Stuart Hall
    11. 11. MUSIC – Historical - Reggae11‘That music, and wider message which it bears, hasnowhere taken such profound roots as amongstthe alienated black youth in English cities – thechildren of those of Jamaican unemployed whocame to Britain as immigrant labour in the 1950sand 1960s, who have become in their turnalienated from white society and from the racismof the ‘home country’*In the late 1970s Black British reggaegroups such as Aswad, Steel Pulse andMatumbi, emerged, and Britaindeveloped its own unique brand ofreggae, characterized by a merging ofsoft soul and reggae.‘the formation of a black counter-culture of resistance among secondand third generation blacks in Britain…An additional irony is the degree towhich this specifically black counter-culture has influenced and inter-penetrated the sub-cultures of white-youth’*
    12. 12. MUSIC – Historical - ReggaeThese bands connected with disenchantedyouth all over Britain. They sang aboutisolation and rejection from a society thatdidn’t understand them. bands were formed by first generation,British-born blacks who eloquently voiced thefear and anguish of growing up in apredominantly white society. Brought up onBritish pop and their parent’s records, theycombined a punk attitude with a Jamaicanreggae sound.Their efforts to become successful mirrored thousands of young black kids across theUK who were coping with right-wing backlash to the influx of Caribbean immigrants.The National Front were stirring up racial hatred and he governments SUS lawresulted in hundreds of black people stopped and searched on the mere suspicion ofcommitting a crime. It wasnt long before there was rioting in the streets. The Britishreggae bands provided the soundtrack to that struggle. 12
    13. 13. • The assimilation of blacks is not aprocess of acculturation but of culturalsyncretism (Bastide, 1978).• The Specials can be used as a symbolof this process• It is impossible to theorize blackculture in Britain without developing anew perspective on British culture as awhole.• (Paul Gilroy ‘Ain’t No Black in theUnion Jack’ )• Assimilation - the social process ofabsorbing one cultural group intoharmony with anotherMUSIC – Historical – 2Tone13
    14. 14. • Smiley Culture - whatwas he representativeof?14MUSIC – Historical – Smiley Culture
    15. 15. • Acculturation = modification ofthe culture of a group as a resultof contact with a different culture• Syncretism = fusion of differingbelief systems - the result isheterogeneous.• Fusion = style of cooking thatcombines ingredients andtechniques from very differentcultures or countries.• Heterogeneous = consisting ofelements that are not of the samekind or natureMUSIC – Historical – 2Tone15How does this relate to our hypothetical collective identity?
    16. 16. • In the period leading up to his death[Marley], it was a space filled primarilyby the ‘two-tone’ cult. In thismovement, earlier Caribbean form,particularly ska, which had beenexposed by the serious reggae fans’search for musical authenticity behindMarley’s obvious comprises, werecaptured and rearticulated intodistinctively British styles andconcerns• (Paul Gilroy ‘Ain’t No Black in theUnion Jack’ )MUSIC – Historical – 2Tone16
    17. 17. Mix of British andJamaican musicCombined whiteand black stylesFirst multiculturalracial musicFusion of Ska andPunkThe comingtogether ofpolitics and youth1979The Specials,Madness, TheSelector, TheBeat, TheBodysnatchersFirst time blacksand whites playedtogether in thesame bandHad it’s own style– Pork pie hat,black and whitedress codeThe Rude Boycharacter exudedcool, moreappealing toBritish workingclass audienceLyrics reflectedcontemporary Britain –and young people’s livesirrespective of colourThe movementallowed blacksand whites toshare experiences17
    18. 18. • …the cultural institutions ofthe white working class werehosting an historic encounterbetween young black andwhite people. This meetingprecipitated not only fear ofthe degeneration of the whiterace in general… but also thecreation of a youth sub-culturein which black style andexpertise were absolutelycentral. (Paul Gilroy ‘Ain’t NoBlack in the Union Jack’ )MUSIC – Historical – 2Tone18Music rooted in black culture was a distinct vehicle through whichblack and white youth were able to have a voice and be heard
    19. 19. MUSIC – Historical – 2Tone19Consider the differences between the collective identity represented throughReggae and the collective identity represented through 2Tone
    20. 20. • In his egalitarianism Ethiopianism and anti-imperialism, his critique oflaw and of the types of work which were on offer, these young peoplefound meanings with which to make sense of their lives in post-imperial Britain.• The two-tone bands appreciated this and isolated the elements inMarleys appeal that were most appropriate to the experiences ofyoung, urban Britons on the threshold of the 1980s.• They pushed the inner logic of his project to its conclusion by fusingpop forms rooted in the Caribbean with a populist politics. Marleyspopulism had been focused by die imperatives of black liberation andoverdetermined by the language of Rastafarianism.• Theirs was centred instead on pointing to the possibility that blackand white young people might discover common or parallel meaningsin their blighted, post-industrial predicament.• (Paul Gilroy ‘Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack’ )MUSIC – Historical – 2Tone20
    21. 21. • The experience of living side by sidein a ‘ghost town had begun to raisethis question. The Specials song,which topped the chart as therioting of 1981 was at its peak,asked, Why must the youth fightagainst themselves? and cleverlyentangled its pleas against bothracism and youth-culturalsectarianism. The two-toneoperation depended on being seento transcend the various prescriptivedefinitions of race which facedeach other across the hinterland ofyouth culture.• (Paul Gilroy ‘Ain’t No Black in theUnion Jack’ )MUSIC – Historical – 2Tone21
    22. 22. • How does the legacy of 2 Tone relate to the multicultural landscape of todayand contemporary Black Britain?• Culture is not a fixed and impermeable feature of social relations. Its formschange, develop, combine and are dispersed in historical processes. Thesyncretic cultures of black Britain exemplify this. They have been able to detachcultural practices from their origins and use them to found and extend the newpatterns of metacommunication which give their community substance andcollective identity.• The defensive walls around each sub-culture gradually crumble and newforms with even more complex genealogies are created in the synthesis andtranscendence of previous styles. The effects of this can be seen not onlywhere the cultural resources of the Afro-Caribbean communities provide aspace in which whites are able to discover meaning in black histories, style andlanguage, but also where a shared culture, overdetermined by its context ofthe urban crisis, mediates the relationship between the different ethnic groupsthat together comprise black Britian.• (Paul Gilroy ‘Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack’ )‘RACE’ ETHNICITY, SYNCRETISMAND MODERNITY22
    23. 23. MUSIC – Contemporary23
    24. 24. MUSIC – Grime and UK Rap• Discuss how Grime and UKrap artists are continuingwhere 2 tone left off• Think about who they’retalking to and who theyultimately represent• Think about the roots of themusic• Think about why this musiccomes under the genre‘urban’ and also how it canbe seen as anti-hegemonic24