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This subject provides an overview of cultural studies approaches to contemporary popular music. Students will be introduced to the interdisciplinary traditions of scholarship that have emerged in the study of popular music's relationship to its social, cultural and political contexts. Topics will include musical evaluation and taste; music genre; sexuality and gender in pop; music industries and music distribution formats; music videos; youth subcultures; politics and radio broadcasting; and race in popular music, with a focus on global hip hop.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of the subject, students should have:
- the ability to apply critical and analytical methods of Cultural Studies in order to analyse contemporary music cultures within the context of changing cultural settings;
- developed historical knowledge, methodological capacity and theoretical competency in Cultural Studies in order to account for the diverse expressions of contemporary popular music;
- the ability to explain the broad relations between cultural industries, institutions, and music cultures and understand the historical, cultural and global contexts that produced them;
- appreciated how different cultural identities and practices have engaged with popular music in the post-war period; and
- an understanding of interdisciplinary methods of analysis that have emerged in the study of popular music's relationship to its sociocultural contexts.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- advanced research and analytical skills;
- show critical and ethical self-awareness; and
- the ability to develop and communicate effective argument in both oral and written form.
Last updated: 20 February 2021