The Meaning of Hip-Hop

in Thug Life

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780226395845
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226395869 | DOI:
The Meaning of Hip-Hop

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This chapter introduces the application of social movement theory to hip-hop, and reviews the link between social movements and collective identity. After providing these theoretical frames, it reports each respondent and explains how the sample is divided into race and class categories. It is revealed that listeners' understanding of what “hip-hop” means is connected to one's affinity for hip-hop and social identity. It is also shown that hip-hop's status as a social movement is intimately bound up with who hip-hop participants understand themselves to be. The idea of hip-hop as communication or expression presented itself in data from both black and white respondents with considerable frequency, but this theme also pointed to cleavages between racial groups. The interview data presented generally reinforces the understanding of hip-hop as a social movement and tool for expanding identity with different forms of correspondence for black and white people.

Keywords: hip-hop; social movement theory; collective identity; race; class; listeners; social identity; communication; expression

Chapter.  12578 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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