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Trajectories and Themes in World Popular Music

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This book traces the trajectories of modern globalization since the late nineteenth century, and considers hegemonic cultural beliefs and practices during the various phases of the history of capitalism. It offers a way to study world popular music from the perspective of critical social theory. Moving chronologically, the book adopts the three phases in the history of capitalist hegemony since the nineteenth century—liberal, organized, and neoliberal capitalism—to consider world popular music in each of these cultural contexts. While capitalism is now everywhere, its history has been one borne out of racism and masculine hegemony. Early Europeanization and globalization have had a major impact on race/gender/sexuality/capitalist hegemony, while nascent technologies of capital have led to a renewed reification and exploitation of racialized, sexualized, and classed populations. This book offers a critique of the relationship between emergent capitalist formations and culture over the past hundred years. It explores the way that world popular music mediates economic, cultural, and ideological conditions, through which capitalism has been created in multiple and heterogeneous ways, understanding world popular music as the production of meaning through language and representation. The various dimensions considered in the book are the work of critical social science—a critique of capitalism’s impact upon popular music in historical and world perspective. This book provides a powerful contemporary framework for contemporary popular music studies with a distinctive global and interdisciplinary awareness, covering empirical research from across the world in addition to well-established and newer theory from the music disciplines, social sciences, and humanities. It offers fresh conceptualizations about world popular music seen within the context of globalization, capitalism, and identity.

Published: Mar 28, 2018

Section Chapter Authors
Companion Website Simone Krüger Bridge
Acknowledgements Simone Krüger Bridge
Introduction Simone Krüger Bridge
Chapter 1
Popular Music before Neoliberalism Simone Krüger Bridge
Chapter 2
Neoliberalism and the Global Music Industry Simone Krüger Bridge
Chapter 3
Globalization and World Music Simone Krüger Bridge
Chapter 4
The Cool Culture of Neoliberal Capitalism Simone Krüger Bridge
Chapter 5
Popular Music in Postdemocracy Simone Krüger Bridge
After Globalization Simone Krüger Bridge
End Matter
Bibliography Simone Krüger Bridge
Index Simone Krüger Bridge


Represents a valuable critique of popular music’s globalisation, holistically discussing local anomalies with international homogenisation against the backdrop of the larger contexts within which they continue to occur.
Ethnomusicology Forum