Mark C. Edberg

in Transnational Encounters

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735921
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918607 | DOI:

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  • Ethnomusicology
  • American Music


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This chapter describes the relationship of an embodied cultural model, or “cultural persona,” to issues of power and social exclusion in the border region. The cultural persona discussed is that of the narcotrafficker, as represented via a popular song genre called the narcocorrido. Based on ethnographic research in the U.S.-Mexico border region, the chapter examines multiple constructions of the narcotrafficker persona as represented in narcocorridos, focusing on key characteristics of the persona identified and foregrounded in these musical narratives by narcocorrido listeners as well as producers. The role of the narcotrafficker persona in relation to socio-political hierarchies in the border region is a key dimension of meaning articulated in the persona.

Keywords: Narcocorrido; embodiment; cultural persona

Chapter.  7214 words. 

Subjects: Ethnomusicology ; American Music

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