Instructor/supervisor ‘Hip Hop studies’ (for BA students at the Erasmus University Rotterdam)

(Globalized) Hip Hop culture, Popular culture, and the Politics of Representation

The once-humble (sub)culture of Hip Hop has come a long way since its inception in the 1970s in a disadvantaged neighborhood in the Bronx, as it is now an integral part of a (technology-mediated) global popular culture. From the latest Hip Hop dance crazes taking the online world by storm to talk show hosts using Hip Hop lingo. It is almost impossible to imagine Hip Hop culture as an invisible entity in popular culture. As representations in Hip Hop (and broader in popular culture) have the ability to shape our social and cultural worlds, the theoretical concept of the politics of representation is an important starting point to analyze (powerful) imagery in popular texts.

In this bachelor thesis class, we will (mainly) explore how representations in (popular) media texts (visual and written), relate to power, ideologies, institutionalized practices, audience perceptions and identity. Representations of ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, age, and disability are the main focal points. Thesis topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Content analyses of representations in Hip Hop or (broader) popular culture (i.e., different musical genres, different popular culture texts).
  • Audience perceptions of, for instance, femininity in popular rap music.
  • Political Hip Hop and identity formation among youth.
  • Cultural appropriation of the Hip Hop aesthetics (e.g., street fashion, dance, language).
  • Exploring rap music and glocalization processes: how is rap music adopted in, for example, the Netherlands? Or Germany? Or Morocco? Or Japan?

We will work with concepts and theories from the fields of Sociology, Psychology, Hip Hop studies, Media studies, Cultural studies, and Intersectionality studies. Qualitative research methods used may include in-depth interviews, focus groups, observation research and/or textual analysis. Within this theme, supervision can be in Dutch or English.

EUR page Kim Dankoor

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