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Ethnic Minorities' Cultural and Artistic Practices as Forms of Political Expression: A Review of the Literature and a Theoretical Discussion on Music

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Looking at the current state of the literature, political scientists and sociologists have neglected the political relevance of ethnic and migrant minorities' popular cultural and artistic productions to concentrate on more conventional forms of political participation. In the first section of this paper, we provide a theoretical framework to this special issue by examining the links between music and politics. We underline several elements related to music which potentially have political significance. We discuss how music can provide/ascribe identities and a sense of place. In the second part of the paper, we attempt to explain why ethnic minorities choose music as a means of political expression. To this end, we present and subsequently critique a typology of political action in popular music developed by the American political scientist Mark Mattern. The paper concludes by stressing the urgent need to develop research on the topic and how this special issue makes its own contribution to this agenda.
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Keywords: Culture; Ethnic Minorities; Music; Political Participation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2008

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