The sound of street corner society: UK grime music as ethnography

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The sound of street corner society: UK grime music as ethnography. / Barron, Lee.

In: European Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 16, No. 5, 2013, p. 531-547.

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@article{2494b3d76ca644a4b8c9567bbf271194,
title = "The sound of street corner society: UK grime music as ethnography",
abstract = "This article explores the ways in which popular music can be linked to ethnography. While there is a tradition of connecting popular music with sociology, this article posits a further resonance that is not so much theoretical as methodological. The article suggests that forms of contemporary popular music parallel key facets of ethnography, not simply in terms of sociological analysis, but with regard to popular music as an ethnographic resource, as {\textquoteleft}data{\textquoteright}, and as the reflexive expression of Paul Willis{\textquoteright} conception of the {\textquoteleft}ethnographic imagination{\textquoteright}; and the article argues that contemporary British hip-hop in the form of {\textquoteleft}grime{\textquoteright} is a potent exemplar. This is due to the resolutely cultural, spatial nature of grime music: a factor that marks out grime as a distinctive musical genre and a distinctive ethnographic form, as it is an experientially rooted music about urban locations, made from within those urban locations.",
keywords = "Emic, ethnographic imagination, grime, hip-hop, music, space, urban",
author = "Lee Barron",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1177/1367549413491937",
language = "English",
volume = "16",
pages = "531--547",
journal = "European Journal of Cultural Studies",
issn = "1367-5494",
publisher = "SAGE",
number = "5",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - The sound of street corner society: UK grime music as ethnography

AU - Barron, Lee

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - This article explores the ways in which popular music can be linked to ethnography. While there is a tradition of connecting popular music with sociology, this article posits a further resonance that is not so much theoretical as methodological. The article suggests that forms of contemporary popular music parallel key facets of ethnography, not simply in terms of sociological analysis, but with regard to popular music as an ethnographic resource, as ‘data’, and as the reflexive expression of Paul Willis’ conception of the ‘ethnographic imagination’; and the article argues that contemporary British hip-hop in the form of ‘grime’ is a potent exemplar. This is due to the resolutely cultural, spatial nature of grime music: a factor that marks out grime as a distinctive musical genre and a distinctive ethnographic form, as it is an experientially rooted music about urban locations, made from within those urban locations.

AB - This article explores the ways in which popular music can be linked to ethnography. While there is a tradition of connecting popular music with sociology, this article posits a further resonance that is not so much theoretical as methodological. The article suggests that forms of contemporary popular music parallel key facets of ethnography, not simply in terms of sociological analysis, but with regard to popular music as an ethnographic resource, as ‘data’, and as the reflexive expression of Paul Willis’ conception of the ‘ethnographic imagination’; and the article argues that contemporary British hip-hop in the form of ‘grime’ is a potent exemplar. This is due to the resolutely cultural, spatial nature of grime music: a factor that marks out grime as a distinctive musical genre and a distinctive ethnographic form, as it is an experientially rooted music about urban locations, made from within those urban locations.

KW - Emic

KW - ethnographic imagination

KW - grime

KW - hip-hop

KW - music

KW - space

KW - urban

U2 - 10.1177/1367549413491937

DO - 10.1177/1367549413491937

M3 - Article

VL - 16

SP - 531

EP - 547

JO - European Journal of Cultural Studies

JF - European Journal of Cultural Studies

SN - 1367-5494

IS - 5

ER -