Event Title

Academic (and) Hip-hop Stakes! The Meeting of a Street Culture and Academia in University-hosted Events in New York City

Presenter Information

Johan Soderman, Columbia University

Start Date

31-5-2011 1:30 PM

End Date

31-5-2011 2:00 PM

Description

This paper is a part of overarching project addressing the academization of hip-hop culture. Hip-hop is the latest form of African Music that has entered academic institutions in the same manner that jazz entered the academia in the 1940s. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to this academization can help music researchers to apply these mechanisms to other research topics. Social activism and education have been associated with hip-hop since hip-hop began 35 years ago. For example, one of the founders of hip-hop, Afrika Bambaataa, has talked about knowledge as the fifth element of hip-hop. Over the last ten years academic scholars and institutions have become interested in bringing hip-hop into university settings. According to the hip-hop archive at the University of Stanford, there are 300 courses and classes in the U.S. that are related to the hip-hop culture in some way. Throughout the last 25 years scholars have been writing academic texts about hip-hop. Consequently, there is a so-called “reader” which can be seen as one of the first signs of a creation of a new academic field of research. Recently, several scholars and activists have brought to the educational agenda a concern for engaging hip-hop as a pedagogical tool in K-12 schools. The ongoing academization of hip-hop can be divided into five distinct tracks or research inputs. First, the hip-hop scholars create their own track, which can be named the hip-hop academicus, and be seen as a Bourdiean field. The hip-hop pedagogy in K-12 schools constitutes the second track. Third, the academic dissertations made by Ph.D. students from the hip-hop generation at American universities constitutes another track, though it is related to previously mentioned tracks. . Fourth, the approaches and motifs from the universities when creating and designing programs, classes, and courses in hip-hop are another track with close connections to the other tracks. However, it is not the hip-hop scholars who design these programs, classes, and courses. Finally, there has been an increased amount of hip-hop scholarly and academic events, such as conferences and panel discussions, in the U.S. over the last five years, which is the main focus of this paper presentation. The aim of this paper presentation is thus to investigate symbolic fights, battles and stakes that are occurring in these academic events. The theoretical framework of this paper stems from the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, including his work about the university setting and his theories about different fields and capital forms. The empirical data stems from four different scholarly and academic events in New York City during 2010. Panel debates and discussions during the conferences were recorded and transcribed verbatim. A broad approach of discourse analysis has been applied in analyzing the data. The paper intends to highlight the symbolic fights, battles, and tensions, classified in different categories which in turn are exemplified with quotes from the empirical data.

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May 31st, 1:30 PM May 31st, 2:00 PM

Academic (and) Hip-hop Stakes! The Meeting of a Street Culture and Academia in University-hosted Events in New York City

This paper is a part of overarching project addressing the academization of hip-hop culture. Hip-hop is the latest form of African Music that has entered academic institutions in the same manner that jazz entered the academia in the 1940s. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to this academization can help music researchers to apply these mechanisms to other research topics. Social activism and education have been associated with hip-hop since hip-hop began 35 years ago. For example, one of the founders of hip-hop, Afrika Bambaataa, has talked about knowledge as the fifth element of hip-hop. Over the last ten years academic scholars and institutions have become interested in bringing hip-hop into university settings. According to the hip-hop archive at the University of Stanford, there are 300 courses and classes in the U.S. that are related to the hip-hop culture in some way. Throughout the last 25 years scholars have been writing academic texts about hip-hop. Consequently, there is a so-called “reader” which can be seen as one of the first signs of a creation of a new academic field of research. Recently, several scholars and activists have brought to the educational agenda a concern for engaging hip-hop as a pedagogical tool in K-12 schools. The ongoing academization of hip-hop can be divided into five distinct tracks or research inputs. First, the hip-hop scholars create their own track, which can be named the hip-hop academicus, and be seen as a Bourdiean field. The hip-hop pedagogy in K-12 schools constitutes the second track. Third, the academic dissertations made by Ph.D. students from the hip-hop generation at American universities constitutes another track, though it is related to previously mentioned tracks. . Fourth, the approaches and motifs from the universities when creating and designing programs, classes, and courses in hip-hop are another track with close connections to the other tracks. However, it is not the hip-hop scholars who design these programs, classes, and courses. Finally, there has been an increased amount of hip-hop scholarly and academic events, such as conferences and panel discussions, in the U.S. over the last five years, which is the main focus of this paper presentation. The aim of this paper presentation is thus to investigate symbolic fights, battles and stakes that are occurring in these academic events. The theoretical framework of this paper stems from the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, including his work about the university setting and his theories about different fields and capital forms. The empirical data stems from four different scholarly and academic events in New York City during 2010. Panel debates and discussions during the conferences were recorded and transcribed verbatim. A broad approach of discourse analysis has been applied in analyzing the data. The paper intends to highlight the symbolic fights, battles, and tensions, classified in different categories which in turn are exemplified with quotes from the empirical data.