2. Mancunian Irish: Identity, Cultural Intimacy and Musical Hybridization – Urban Ethnomusicology and Cultural Mapping
Svend Kjeldsen [+]
University of Limerick
The last half of the 20th century saw an increase in urban studies. The study of migration and globalization, formation of transnational identities, social construction of place as well as the growing impact of technology and media in dense communication settings are hardly thinkable without research in the urban context. Consequently, the mapping of urban cultures has likewise become vital not only in cultural studies and the social sciences, but particularly also in ethnomusicology. This is illustrated by a case study on music performance practices of British-Irish second-generation music makers in Manchester, Great Britain, in their socio-cultural context within the British-Irish Diaspora. Urban Manchester appears as a power centre for recycling of traditional musical ideas and for articulation of new, hybridizing performance practices with significant consequences for everyday life and identity production among second-generation Irish in Manchester. As the mapping process highlights, a life in displacement involves subjacent forms of nostalgia, but hybridized sonic practices make it possible to cope with these through strategies offering utopian perspectives, either as a celebration of own locality or as an invitation to the Manchester Irish to take up a position as citizens in the global imagined community of Irishness. Yet they might even enter a global diasporic solidarity based on general experiences of immigration and multiculturalism.