Jump up, wine, and wave

Soca music, social identity, and symbolic boundaries in Grenada, West Indies

Authored by: Danielle Sirek

The Routledge Handbook to Sociology of Music Education

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138586369
eBook ISBN: 9780429504631
Adobe ISBN:


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Cultural practices are a way of creating and maintaining social group identity. In this chapter, I draw from Lucy Green’s (2008) theories of inter-sonic and delineated meanings in music to explore symbolic boundaries (Lamont 1992) between different social groups. Through a case study, I examine inter-sonic and delineated meanings in soca music in Grenada, West Indies. I explore the symbolic boundaries enacted by soca musicking and music education initiatives; and the contexts for when these boundaries shift or temporarily disintegrate. This research builds upon previous ethnographic research on the relationship between music and identity in Grenada, West Indies, in 2010 and 2011. Data for the current study includes soca songs produced between 2011 and 2018; videos of soca music performances; and press releases and public social media posts featuring soca music and soca music education initiatives. Examining the symbolic boundaries formed by, sustained through, or dismantled by music education may elucidate the ways in which music education contributes to social groups acquiring status and dominating resources.

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