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Commodifying compliance? UK urban music and the new mediascape

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 1 2014
Trefwoorden street culture, Grime, frustration, defiance, resistance
Auteurs Dr. Jonathan Ilan
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Subcultural theory and cultural criminology have traditionally viewed ‘underground’ youth movements as providing images of deviance/resistance which the cultural industries harvest to turn a profit. The logic follows that street and sub cultures imbue products with a ‘transgressive edge’ that increases their appeal within youth markets. This paper uses the example of UK ‘grime’ music to demonstrate how this dynamic cannot be viewed as applying universally in contemporary times. Where their street orientated content is censured, many grime artistes express a desire for commercial success which would ultimately emerge through muting their rhetorical links to crime and violence and explicitly championing ‘mainstream’ values. This case is used as an empirical cue to explore the use and critique of the concept of ‘resistance’ within cultural criminology and subcultural theory. The paper problematizes commodification of resistance discourses as they apply to the rugged culture of the streets and indeed its supposed ‘oppositional’ character where disadvantaged urban youth clearly embody and practice the logic of neoliberalism. It furthermore suggests that certain critiques of cultural criminology go too far in denying any meaning to criminality and subcultural practice beyond consumer desire. Ultimately, the concept of ‘defiance’ is suggested as a useful tool to understand the norms of and behaviours of the excluded.


Dr. Jonathan Ilan
Dr. Jonathan Ilan is universitair docent bij de School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent (UK). E-mail: j.ilan@kent.ac.uk
Artikel

Muziek, criminaliteit en cultuur

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden Music, Crime, Culture, Criminology
Auteurs Tom Decorte en Dina Siegel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Various disciplines have a longstanding tradition of studying musical genres and the various functions of music, but few criminologists focus on music in their scientific work. This article discusses various relationships between music, crime and culture. We discuss the hypothesis of ‘criminogenic’ music genres, and countless examples of criminalisation of music. We point at the stilistic importance of music genres for subcultures and social movements, and we raise ethical aspects: music can also be used as an instrument of (symbolic) violence, as a punishment or even as torture. Finally, we discuss other functional uses of music: as a vehicle for human emotions, for therapeutic purposes, to influence the behavior of employees and consumers, to enhance feelings of public safety, and to prevent crime and nuisance.


Tom Decorte
Prof. dr. Tom Decorte is hoogleraar criminologie aan de Universiteit Gent. E-mail: Tom.Decorte@ugent.be.

Dina Siegel
Prof. dr. Dina Siegel is hoogleraar criminologie aan het Willem Pompe Instituut voor Strafrechtswetenschappen Universiteit Utrecht. E-mail: D.Siegel@uu.nl.
Artikel

De straat praat? De performance van ‘street credibility’

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden Performance, street credibility, (gangsta) rap, identity
Auteurs Robby A. Roks
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article deals with the performance of ‘street credibility’. A dramaturgical analysis of the lyrics and videos of 15 rap artist from The Hague sheds light on the various ways they try to achieve a credible street reputation as rappers. In their frontstage presentation they highlight their street knowledge, strike violent poses, and claim affiliation to certain infamous local gangs or neighborhoods. Backstage, however, these performances are being deconstructed by other actors who participate in the local street culture and who form a critical, metaphysical audience of the presentations of the rappers.


Robby A. Roks
Drs. Robby A. Roks is als promovendus verbonden aan de sectie criminologie van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. E-mail: Roks@law.eur.nl
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