Trajectories and Themes in World Popular Music - Globalization, Capitalism, Identity - Simone Krüger Bridge

Trajectories and Themes in World Popular Music - Globalization, Capitalism, Identity - Simone Krüger Bridge

The Cool Culture of Neoliberal Capitalism

Trajectories and Themes in World Popular Music - Globalization, Capitalism, Identity - Simone Krüger Bridge

Simone Krüger Bridge [+-]
Liverpool John Moores University
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Simone Krüger Bridge is a Reader in Music at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. She has authored books, chapters, articles and papers on educational ethnomusicology, music and globalization, and guitar music cultures in Paraguay. Simone is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of World Popular Music, book series editor of Transcultural Music Studies, editorial board member of the Journal of Popular Music Education, and has previously served as co-editor of the journal Ethnomusicology Forum. Simone is an award-winning educator with extensive teaching experience in ethnomusicology, media and cultural studies, world music and popular music studies, and sociology. Prior to embarking on her music-academic career, Simone completed a professional Masters in Banking Services and Operations and BSc in Business Economics with Marketing specialisation.


Chapter 4 explores the way that popular music consumption of the noughties became influenced by a new cultural logic—the cool and the hip. Chapter 4 first explores the origins of cool and establishes the idea that neoliberal capitalism is cool capitalism. In the age of neoliberal capitalism, the ideology of cool determines cultural production and consumption, and has thereby become the focal point of popular culture globally, influencing a diverse range of contemporary trends and fields from food, music, and fashion, to technology and cinema. The hip and the cool are examples of non-economic forms of value created through branding practices. Coolness has become an incredibly powerful concept within business and marketing. It is a universal motivator for teens and youths, as well as for a large range of other age groups. Coolness excites consumers, adds symbolic value to products, and drives consumer trends. Coolness and consumption are intrinsically linked. Consumption in postmodern popular culture is central to identity formation and acquisition of status—cool, triggering in consumers the desire to achieve a cool lifestyle through consumption. The cool culture of neoliberal capitalism is clearly evident in the branding processes surrounding the “cool celebrity personae”, relevant to which is artists’ resilience to contemporary forms of (gendered, racist) patriarchy presented in much contemporary world popular music. Chapter 4 illustrates the way that coolness is gendered, exploring cool masculinities and cool postfeminism in world popular music, while showing “our” cultural complicities with patriarchy and the persistence of racism and sexism in cool popular culture globally. Moreover, cool technologies have further contributed to the veritable explosion of commodity fetishism and cool seduction under cool capitalism. Cool (neoliberal) popular culture extols celebrity and success, and promotes and celebrates values of the public self and possessive individualism.

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Krüger Bridge, Simone. The Cool Culture of Neoliberal Capitalism. Trajectories and Themes in World Popular Music - Globalization, Capitalism, Identity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 174-227 Mar 2018. ISBN 9781781796221. Date accessed: 08 Jul 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34462. Mar 2018

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