World Music and International Development: Ethnography of Globalization

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2006-05-11

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How are theories of globalization understood and employed by individuals working in world music and international development? Using a world music CD and concert project created by a Washington D.C.-based non-profit, this paper explores power relationships in world music and international development through aesthetics, authenticity, and hegemony. An ethnographic approach emphasizes the roles of individuals, providing a "bottom-up" approach to studying globalization. The non-profit Sustainable Environments for Health and Shelter (SEH+S) combines recording industry concepts for world music with organizational goals to achieve a distinct and practical organizational identity. Power relationships with musicians are also determined through a combination of organizational goals and individual musicians' motivation and knowledge. SEH+S administrators, producers and musicians both challenge and validate theories of globalization in their interpretations of world music and international development.

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