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Transcultural voices: narrating hip hop culture in complex Delhi

Singh, Jaspal Naveel 2016. Transcultural voices: narrating hip hop culture in complex Delhi. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This study uses in-depth, qualitative analyses of narrative fragments elicited during nine months of ethnographic research in Delhi and elsewhere. I develop the notion of 'transcultural voices' to understand narrative practices of young, male, hip hop-affiliated ethnographic interlocutors. As participants tell stories about their lives, their plans, their fears, their urban experience and their views of the world, many voices seem to appear. These voices support and challenge each other in manifold ways, constructing complex polyphonic depth. I show that narrators other (Chapter 4), synchronise (Chapter 5) and embody (Chapter 6) this polyphony to construct narrative moments in which their ‘own’ transcultural voices can be recognised. In conversation with me or other audiences, these young men, most of who have migratory histories, narrativise their experiences of being hip hop practitioners in one of India’s complex megacities to discursively imagine themselves as part of a globally unfolding hip hop culture. I also analyse narratives told by North American and European hip hop practitioners, most of them diasporic Indians, who travel to India to practise, promote and research hip hop. From their accounts we begin to understand how hip hop in Delhi is narrated through hybrid subject positions from outside. My own ethnographic practices and the writing of this thesis surely have to be counted as such an account from outside, which leads me to assume my own authorship here with heightened reflexivity. The thesis shows that an analytical focus on voice in narrative, one which considers both the physical and the social voice and is informed by ethnography, can complexify research on urban subcultures in the contemporary globalised moment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 February 2017
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2021 08:28

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