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Title: Whither Jamaica's Music Industry? A Bourdieusian approach to tracing Plantalogical Subjectivities
Authors: Harper, Donald Weston
Supervisors: Saren, Michael
Cluley, Robert
Award date: 1-Jul-2016
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: A point of departure for this thesis is that despite consensus among stakeholders in Jamaica that the nation’s popular music genre, reggae, is a well-received global brand, a veritable state of inertia persists when it comes to advancing the productive capacity of the music sector. In this thesis, the relational gulf between industry and government actors is problematized. The thesis suggests on-going tensions can be traced to socio-historical struggles that reinscribe colonial relations of power. Using a social theory framework drawn from the work of Pierre Bourdieu, integrated with the Caribbean plantation economy model, the thesis argues that practices in the sector are characterised by acts of symbolic violence and patterns of behaviour indicative of those found in a plantation system. The limited government support the music sector receives is interpreted in this thesis as a devaluation of indigenous cultural expression that is only validated by gaining legitimacy in foreign domains. Cultural producers perceive this paradoxical situation as a sign of disrespect that inferiorises their identities. The degree to which music is an export-propelled cultural sector further cements a plantation culture of 'dependency' on the outside. This tension culminates in a struggle for recognition that becomes enacted through the constitution of plantalogical subjectivities. They serve to readmit memory traces of the colonial past and which decimates motivation toward any internal development effort. I compliment the conceptual argument with a series of narrative interviews with Jamaican creative practitioners. I conceptualise the notions of ‘negative cultural capital’ and ‘dependency habitus’ to respectively account for the symbolic erasure of value and of a subject position that emphasizes the shift of allegiance away from Jamaica. Thus this thesis points to important linkages between the field of development studies and cultural policy frameworks by exploring the role of subjectivities in development behaviour. It further aids in enhancing understanding of attempts towards development under late capitalism and in post-colonial contexts.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Management
Leicester Theses

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