Music and collective identities
Kolektivni identiteti i muzika
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This paper presents some introductory observations on the ways in which the opposition between the modern and post-modern understanding of social identities can be overcome in the context of musicology. It is based on the consideration of identities as dynamic and changeable categories, as well as on the importance of the relation between individual and collective positionings, on the complexities of the multiple identifications and on the understanding of music as a social construction of identity. Due attention is paid to basic theoretical and methodological aspects in the interdisciplinary analysis of 'self' and 'other'. In music, the problems of self-presentation appropriation, difference, power, control, authenticity, hybridity, as well as other issues that blur the boundaries between musicology, ethnomusicology and the studies of popular music, are made relevant by these interdisciplinary terms. Both the modern and post-modern understanding of identity can first be placed in the ...context of the binary questions: 'How to construct the identity and maintain it?' and 'How to avoid the construction of the fixed identity and thus leave the door open for the possibility of change?'. It seems that the deconstruction of these opposite approaches has now grown in importance. This paper focuses especially on that kind of theorizing about music and socio-cultural identities. The views of Georgina Born and David Hesmondhalgh, that older and recent models of music representation are not 'either/or' categories but rather complement each other, are especially singled out. These authors show by numerous examples that music can invariably both reflect existing identities and construct new ones. They conclude that possible shortcomings, such as the danger of essentialism in the earlier approach, and of later reductionism, could be avoided by carefully using the homology and process models of music representation. Their typology of music articulation of a socio-cultural identity, however, leaves the opposition between 'real' and 'imagined' intact. The theoretic analysis of other disciplines leads us to conclusion that these categories were the result of different images, whose opposite poles existed in the contrary approaches of 'realism' and 'radical constructivism'. In this context, the analysis of Milan Subotić in the field of social theory is singled out as a ′middle-way′ position between these opposite sides. This approach in musicology could be most helpful in keeping an equal distance from both 'imagination' and 'reality'. Where society is concerned, reality is, after all, imagined. However, this invention is certainly not an arbitrary one, but rather an effort to label social processes as a social reality, from the perspective of the 'longue durée'. Therefore, it is especially important to maintain an historical approach in the study of music, something that is often lacking in post-modern narratives. Since the relation between collective identities and music is a complex and diverse subject, theoretical and methodological approaches must be further developed in the context of separate and specific topics of research. Finally, musicology itself is a construct of musical representation in the performative processes and praxis of music. In that respect, the reconciliation between the antagonisms highlighted in this paper could be achieved in the concurrence of historical narrative and contemporary critique.
Tekst predstavlja uvod u moguće prevazilaženje suprotnosti između modernog i postmodernog poimanja društvenih identiteta u muzikologiji. Uz kritički odnos prema ključnim teorijsko-metodološkim kategorijama značajnim za izučavanje kolektivnih identifikacija, predložene su pojedine smernice proučavanja koje se, između ostalog, oslanjaju na važnost odnosa individualno - kolektivno, na višestrukost različitih individualnih i grupnih identifikacija i na ulogu same muzike kao socijalne konstrukcije identiteta ali u relacijama istovremene istorizacije i kritike.