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

Popular Music in Postdemocracy

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).


Neoliberalism has thoroughly undermined egalitarianism, which calls into question the legitimacy of globalization and global hegemonic capitalism. We are in an age of interregnum, the historical point of postdemocracy, which raises questions about the idea of active democratic citizenship, and how this activism is mobilized though and manifested in world popular music practices. Chapter 5 focuses on the postdemocratic conditions of today’s neoliberal culture and asks important questions about the role of social democratic citizenship, conceptualized here through the role of popular music in democracy and resistance. Real World, The Elders, and Witness charity are all examples of social democratic citizenship that show that a more optimistic, moral stance toward globalization is possible. Democracy and resistance are also at play through the role played by feminism and the civil rights and anti-racism movements in popular music within the hegemonic order of the global music business and wider society. Popular music can indeed function in opposition to the cultural hegemonic norm. Unequal power structures and stereotypical and oppressive role models have been revealed, challenged, and resisted by feminist and postcolonial musical practices, which reminds us of the way that race, gender, and class have assumed constructed meanings that are applied to identity characteristics of others, highlighting the ways in which inequality and prejudice are constructed in the representations of popular music. Chapter 5 highlights local forms of resistance to the spread of western culture, beliefs, practices, and norms through the lenses of hybridity, democracy, and global civility, considering audiences animated by social justice and cosmopolitan imagination, who challenge global capitalism’s commodification of the gendered, exotic, and racialized other. Yet, troubling as it may seem, neoliberalism has also led to periodic outbreaks of conservative, nationalist, right-wing socialism, and some popular music has served as a powerful means to negotiate, express, and model ethnocentric political identities. When aligned politically with the “Right”, such popular music is often most directly concerned with right-wing socialism and white nationalism. Some of these movements do, of course, raise concern and questions regards their compatibility with democracy. Yet they do share with the anti-globalization movement a discontent with postdemocracy, internationalism, and the consequences of uncontrolled global capitalism.

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Krüger Bridge, Simone. Popular Music in Postdemocracy. Trajectories and Themes in World Popular Music - Globalization, Capitalism, Identity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 228-261 Mar 2018. ISBN 9781781796221. Date accessed: 25 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34463. Mar 2018

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