Music and the social imaginaries of young people

Authored by: Athena Lill

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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This chapter will examine the roles of musical production, distribution, and consumption in the creation and performance of a tweenage (broadly Westernised children between the ages of 8–15 years) social imaginary. Primarily drawing on the work of Anderson (2016), Appadurai (1996), Castoriadis (1987), and Taylor (2004) this chapter will consider the concept of the social imaginary as the active co-production and consumption of cultural artefacts, specific social values, and group practices. This will be discussed through the exploration of a tweenage social imaginary; a social world created and sustained by Westernised pre-teens largely enabled by the two key spaces of the school and the Internet. This chapter will argue that music is integral to the creation and performance of this particular imaginary through an examination of musical play, musical fandoms, and the production and consumption of Internet-based musical texts.

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