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Towards a Critical Understanding of Music, Emotion and Self-Identity

Hesmondhalgh, D (2008) Towards a Critical Understanding of Music, Emotion and Self-Identity. Consumption, markets and culture, 11 (4). 329 - 343 . ISSN 1477-223X

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The article begins by outlining a dominant conception of these relations in sociologically informed analysis of music, which sees music primarily as a positive resource for active self-making. My argument is that this conception rests on a problematic notion of the self and also on an overly optimistic understanding of music, which implicitly sees music as highly independent of negative social and historical processes. I then attempt to construct a) a more adequately critical conception of personal identity in modern societies; and b) a more balanced appraisal of music-society relations. I suggest two ways in which relations between self, music and society may not always be quite so positive or as healthy as the dominant conception suggests: 1) Music is now bound up with the incorporation of authenticity and creativity into capitalism, and with intensified consumption habits. 2) Emotional self-realisation through music is now linked to status competition. Interviews are analysed.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications (Leeds) > Institute of Communication Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2011 11:58
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 04:01
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10253860802391334
Status: Published
Publisher: Routledge
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1080/10253860802391334
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/42750

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