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 [Associate Professor] in Music and Chair of the APS Faculty Research Degree Committee at Liverpool John Moores University (UK). She has published two monographs, Experiencing Ethnomusicology: Teaching and Learning in European Universities (2009) and Trajectories and Themes in World Popular Music (2018), and two co-edited collections, The Globalization of Musics in Transit: Music Migration and Tourism (2014) and Ethnomusicology in the Academy: International Perspectives (2011), and is currently working on the edited The Oxford Handbook of Global Popular Music (2 volumes) published by Oxford University Press. Her research on Paraguayan music, which focuses on guitar music culture and identity, has been presented in numerous talks, conference articles, and articles, such as in the The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture (2021) and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association (2022). Her current research explores the social value of music participation in two comparative settings: Berta Rojas' music project Jeporeka 2021 and 2022, and Liverpool Cathedral's music outreach programme. Krüger Bridge is ceditor-in-chief of the Journal of World Popular Music, founding book series editor of Transcultural Music Studies (2015-2021), editorial board member for three academic journals, and has been co-editor of Ethnomusicology Forum (2010-2013), an Executive Committee member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (2019-2021), and a committee member of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (2008-2011).


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: 21 Feb 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34462. Mar 2018

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