Dancehall Research Paper

871 Words4 Pages
Course Code: CLTR3516
Course Title: Performing Culture: Dancehall as Ritual and Spectacle
Date of Submission: September 22, 2015
Tutor: Dr. Donna Hope

Question 2: “Dancehall is a subcultural space”. Using relevant examples, analyse this statement.

(OPENING SENTENCE)….The term ‘dancehall’ often makes reference to a genre of Jamaican music; as the name suggests dancehall music was initially played in a dance hall as the content of the music was deemed unfit for airplay thus only being available in a set space. Dancehall however is not limited to music but encompasses a variety of other cultural aspects. (Summary of the history of dancehall music and how it developed into a lifestyle) Consequently, dancehall has been portrayed through various
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In analysing the practices that surround dancehall, it could be accurately said that they reflect that of a subculture. Subcultures theoretically speak to ….
Functionally, as an avenue for inner city populous to express themselves, coupled with its social deviant nature, dancehall is a subcultural space.
WHAT IS DANCEHALL????
In understanding dancehall as a subcultural state, one must grasp a full concept of what subcultures entail and how they function within a wider society. The prefix ‘sub’ suggests being a lesser part of something, therefore a subculture would speak to the culture of a people being less than the culture of the wider society. Dick Hebdige, a British sociological theorist, in his works “Subcultures: The Meaning of Style” states “…the meaning of subculture, is, then, always in dispute, and style is the arena in which the opposing definitions clash with most dramatic force” (Hebdige, 1979, p.3), the term ‘dispute’ then speaks to opposing views thus battling with a consistent level of conflict between the two. Hebdige, in reference to Genet’s novels, points to the fact that the
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He also speaks to the fact that the term subculture suggests a level of secrecy, masonic oaths, and an underworld and that it invokes the larger and no less difficult culture (a hegemonic position). In analysing the words of Hebdige, it becomes quite evident that a subcultural group holds their own moralistic values from that of the parent culture. Therefore, based on the modernist views of Hebdige, dancehall would be classified as a subculture, as it reflects most of the characteristics mentioned in his work. Dancehall in Jamaica is often viewed as the expressions of ________________. This is evident through the content of the music produced, the mode of dress portrayed and even the language created and used. “Close observation of hard-core dancehall music will reveal that there is a tendency to embrace, endorse and promote some of the most disgusting
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