Chapter

Beyond Ethnocentrism

in The Music between Us

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780226333281
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226333274 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226333274.003.0009
Beyond Ethnocentrism

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This book has so far argued that music is a means of promoting cross-cultural understanding and a palpable sense of our common humanity. However, music can also reinforce ethnic and sectarian divisions through exactly the mechanisms that make it a vehicle for forging bonds of sympathy. Its connection with feelings of security also paradoxically challenges the notion that the universal features of music can help us to develop a greater sense of human affinity. Moreover, the ability of music to promote a sense of belonging reinforces the splintering of the human world into separate groups who are often hostile to one another, thus the upshot of musical universality is that music seems to promote ethnocentrism. Fortunately, music also offers a unique opportunity to develop mutual sympathy among people with different ethnic or sectarian affiliations.

Keywords: music; ethnocentrism; sympathy; security; musical universality; sense of belonging

Chapter.  5987 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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