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“Can't Tell Me Nothing”: Symbolic Violence, Education, and Kanye West

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In 2004, Kanye West burst onto the music scene with The College Dropout. His follow-ups, Late Registration (2005) and Graduation (2007), continued to advance a theme critical of institutional education and the broader social distinctions it produces. By examining West's critique of higher education, this paper demonstrates how Bourdieu's concept of symbolic violence, defined as the ability to impose meanings while concealing their underlying power relations, is a valuable tool for analyzing discourses in hip hop and for moving beyond the hype about crime and physical violence that pervades popular debates.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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