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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Masculinities Under Pressure in Beirut's Independent Music Scenes
by Nickell, Chris, Ph.D., New York University, 2020, 380; 27542738
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is titled Masculinities Under Pressure in Beirut’s Independent Music Scenes. In what follows, I aim to show how masculinities interact with other elements of identity including race, class, and sect to form strategies for self-preservation in the face of bleak economic prospects. In particular, I explore how male independent musicians of Beirut, Lebanon leverage a range of masculinities to navigate the twin pressures of Lebanon’s late capitalist, sectarianized social order and the global music industry. Drawing on ethnographic work since 2015, my project examines ways these musicians mobilize their middle-class status, Westernized schooling, racialized bodies, and post-war coming-of-age within performances of social and musical masculinities on- and off-stage. In dialogue with queer studies, critical race theory, and scholarship on sect and class in Lebanon, I analyze how such performances lubricate these men’s negotiations of scarce resources, urban spaces, border crossings, musical genres, and audience demands at home and abroad. Suffusing these negotiations are pressures from both Lebanon’s entwined social orders of sectarianism and capitalism and the global music industry’s demands that await artists abroad. I show how these musicians press masculinities into service as a key tool to shore up their social status and defer the threats of downward mobility that characterize austerity regimes in the Mediterranean and beyond.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dang, Christine Thu Nhi, Mahon, Maureen
Commitee: Cusick, Suzanne G., Danielson, Virginia, Deeb, Lara
School: New York University
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 81/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Gender studies, Middle Eastern Studies
Keywords: Arab world, Critical race studies, Ethnography, Independent music, Lebanon, Masculinity studies
Publication Number: 27542738
ISBN: 9798607310837
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