Presentation on theme: "ARTICULATING CELTICITY Finding an Irish Voice Daragh O’Reilly University of Sheffield 17 October 2007."— Presentation transcript:
ARTICULATING CELTICITY Finding an Irish Voice Daragh O’Reilly University of Sheffield 17 October 2007
PRESENTATION STRUCTURE Popular music context Metaphors for community Archaeology of ‘tribe’ - Maffesoli A Celtic musical ‘tribe’ New Model Army Implications
ROCK BAND AS TRIBE, BRAND COMMUNITY OR SUBCULTURAL GROUP? Conceptual proliferation Consumer Tribes (Cova, Kozinets, Shankar, 2007) Brand Communities (Muniz and O’Guinn, 2001) Subcultures / Post-subcultures (Bennett and Kahn, 2004)
MAFFESOLI, 1988/1996:6 Cultural, productive, religious, sexual, ideological domains (Modernity) Social Mechanical structure Political-economic organization Individuals (function) Contractual groupsAffectual tribes Persons (role) Masses (Post-modernity) Complex or organic structure Sociality versus
READING MAFFESOLI Reception in MCS Reception in popular music
NEO TRIBALISM P.75 – neo-tribalism … refuses to identify with any political project whatsoever, to subscribe to any sort of finality … [its] sole raison d’etre is a preoccupation with the collective present. P.76 – in contrast to the stability induced by classical tribalism, neo-tribalism is characterized by fluidity, occasional gatherings and dispersal. Thus we can describe the street scene of modern megalopolises: the amateurs of jogging, punk or retro fashions, preppies and street performers invite us on a travelling road show. P. 11 – The rational era is built on the principle of individuation and of separation, whereas the empathetic period is marked by the lack of differentiation, the ‘loss’ in a collective subject: in other words, what I shall call neo-tribalism.
NEO TRIBALISM P. 40 - A new (and evolving trend) can be found in the growth of small groups and existential networks. This represents a sort of tribalism which is based at the same time on the spirit of religion (re-ligare) and on localism (proxemics, nature). 139 – the constitution of micro-groups, of the tribes which intersperse spatially, arises as a result of a feeling of BELONGNG, as a function of a specific ETHIC and within the framework of a communications NETWORK … these three ideas can be summarized by speaking of a ‘multitude of villages’ which intersect, oppose each other, help each other, all the while remaining themselves. 140 - The tribes [have] varied lifespans according to the degree of investment of the protagonists
KINDS OF TRIBES Networks of solidarity (72) Communion of saints (73) Electronic mail, sexual networks, various solidarities including sporting and musical gatherings are so many signs of an ethos in gestation. Such trends are the framework of this new spirit of the times which we call sociality. (73) Youth groups, affinity associations, small- scale industrial enterprises (75) Small community group (94)
MAFESOLI ON TRIBALISM The affectual nebula Undirected being-together The religious model Elective sociality The law of secrecy
TRIBALISM 1 – The Affectual Nebula Experiencing the other is the basis of community The logic of the network and the affect which serves as its vector are essentially relativist (88) P. 36 – the feeling or passion which, contrary to conventional wisdom, constitutes the essential ingredient of all social aggregations
TRIBALISM 2 – UNDIRECTED BEING TOGETEHR P. 81 – I believe that the BEING- TOGETEHR is a basic given. Before any other determination or qualification, there is this vital spontaneity that guarantees a culture its own PUISSANCE and solidity
TRIBALISM 3 – THER ‘RELIGIOUS MODEL’ P. 82 - The use of the religious metaphor can then be compared to a laser beam allowing the most complete reading of the very heart of a given structure. P. 85 – That which has been called the ‘sect’ type can be seen as an alternative to the purely rational governing of the institution. Regularly returning to the fore, this alternative accentuates the role of feeling in social life, which will aid the action of proximity and the welcoming aspect of that which is nascent. P. 21 – I am adopting the perspective of Durkheim and his followers, who always placed the greatest weight on the sacredness of social relationships
RELIGIOSITY P.77 this term should be seen in the most elemental light, that of RELIANCE 78 – there is a link between the emotional and religiosity 38 – Social Divine –the aggregate force which is the basis of any society or association 41 – demotheism – the people as god, or the social divine Keeping warm together 43- There has always been a heavy religious dimensions to revolutionary phenomena
TRIBALISM 4 – ELECTIVE SOCIALITY P. 86 – We are currently witness to the development of what I shall call an ELECTIVE SOCIALITY. This mechanism has certainly always existed, but, as far as modernity is concerned for example, it was tempered by the political corrective that brought compromise and long-term finality into the picture to supersede particular interests and localism.
TRIBALISM 5 – The LAW OF SECRECY P. 90 - Protective mechanism with respect to the outside world 92 – the secret society allows for resistance 37 – [secret] behaviour … is the basis of social perdurability … allows us to measure the vitality of a social group
PUISSANCE VS POWER P. 92 – Whereas power tends to encourage centralization specialization and the establishment of a universal society and knowledge, the secret society is always fond on the margins; is secular, decentralized, without the baggage of dogmatic and intangible doctrines. P. 1 – puissance* - * Tr Note: the term ‘puissance in French conveys the idea of the inherent energy and vital force of the people, as opposed to the institutions of ‘power’ (‘pouvoir’)
3.4 CULTURAL STUDIES: - THE CIRCUIT OF CULTURE representation identity production regulation consumption Hall et al., 1997
PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION OF ROCK BAND CULTURE MEANINGS identity, hedonic, utilitarian, political, spiritual, social, musical, economic CULTURE OF PRODUCTION people practices places TEXTS music, lyrics, artwork, merchandise, dress, appearance, articles, reviews, DVD, CD, gigs, web CULTURE OF CONSUMPTION people practices places Decoding/ encoding Encoding/ decoding Elaborated/ Intended meanings ‘Content’ Intended/ elaborated meanings Structure/ performance
PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION OF ROCK BAND CULTURE MEANINGS identity, hedonic, utilitarian, political, spiritual, social, musical, economic CULTURE OF PRODUCTION people practices places TEXTS music, lyrics, artwork, merchandise, dress, appearance, articles, reviews, DVD, CD, gigs, web CULTURE OF CONSUMPTION people practices places Decoding/ encoding Encoding/ decoding Elaborated/ Intended meanings ‘Content’ Intended/ elaborated meanings Structure/ performance Creativity: - Originating - Adapting - Sampling Rehearsing Touring Performing Sourcing (A&R) Music and Video Production: - Recording - Mixing/Editing - Mastering Manufacturing Distribution Promotion - Image - Artwork - Plugging - Advertising - Publicity acquiring collecting owning possessing divesting discoursing sharing listening watching attending rituals dancing singing
GROUP IDENTITIES IN THE NMA-FAN RELATIONSHIP ‘Militia’ Other Fans Band RSC JS+F Former Members Collabo- rators Crew = THE NMA ART FIRM? Mana- ger
NMA AESTHETICS, i.e. CULTURAL ‘TEXTS’ AND CIRCUITS Phase 1 SONGS Music Sounds Lyrics VISUAL IMAGES Phase 2 COVER ART/ SLEEVE NOTES Images Text Lyrics Logo Photographs Phase 3 CLOTHING MERCHANDISE MUSICAL PRODUCT T-shirts Sweatshirts Hoodies Hats Vinyl CD Concert DVD Music video Phase 4 WEB-SITE Newsletters Tour Record News News Archive Talk Lyrics Music Art Red Sky Coven Robert Heaton Kip Keino Noticeboard Links Contact The Shop Phase 5 GIGS Stage design Lighting Instruments Equipment Sound mix Movement Setlist Musical Performance PERSONAL APPEARANCE Jewellery Tattoos Piercings Clothing MERCH BOOTH Musical Product Clothing Merchandise Community Partners Creative News Trade
FAMILY “Ch: Give me some place that I can go Where I don't have to justify myself Swimming out alone against this tide Looking for family looking for tribe.” Family, 1987 (Sullivan) Maffesoli, p. 94 – the conjunction of ‘group preservation-solidarity-proximity’ has found its favoured expression in the notion of family, which should be taken in the sense of extended family
‘ONE FAMILY, ONE TRIBE’ Heritage is a powerful tool. It can inculcate a sense of belonging. It can be used to include or exclude. Agyeman, 2006:16 (in Simpson, ed. 2006).
‘ONE FAMILY, ONE TRIBE’ Touring exhibition, 2004- English and German public museums Fans involved Curation Funding advocacy Visitors book Data collection through visits, interviews, photography/video recording
THE MOVE TO HERITAGE The NMA ‘Family’ Building community Sacralising Community Emotional kinship, sanctuary, belonging Re-membrance Remembering past times Re-membering oneself into the community Risks for the band A ‘heritage band’, or A band with heritage? Solving the museum’s access ‘problem’ Government policy on broadening access Tapping into a pre-existing community (‘outsourcing’?!)
NMA – A CELTIC TRIBAL AESTHETIC? Family/tribe as ‘divin social’ Musical: Genre: punk/folk/rock Influences: Northern Soul Emotional kinship, sanctuary, belonging Enduring band Underground band (‘cult’), Band of puissance Urban realism and pastoral romanticism Spiritual, political heritage Diggers/Levellers/Ranters – 1600s England Lyrics of resistance Miners’ Strike/Falklands/Newbury By-pass USA visa refusal (again) ‘no cultural value’ says US Government Fan reaction on band web-site: ****ing shit! they will let the beckhams in but not new model army? ******s. Critique of Maffesoli – political, empirical, social form over content, psychology of individual
3.8 INDIVIDUAL SUBJECTIVITY Of the rock artiste ‘The reluctance to address the question of exceptionality … is a major shortcoming in the sociology of art’ (Negus and Pickering, 2004:152) Exceptional talent/sensibility -> soul Of the fan Body Active cognition Emotion Imagination -> soul
4. FINALLY … This presentation illustrated some of the issues which arise when an attempt is made to conceptualise a ‘rock band’ … Marketing is a very long way from being able to offer on its own a credible account of what a rock band is.
The band has a strong visual identity based on a specific aesthetic, which is closely linked to its musical aesthetic. The visual identity is encoded into a wide range of texts, which are widely circulated and serve as an important representation system for the band. The band's lyrics reflect a mix of urban realism and pastoral romanticism in attempting to deal with contemporary political, social and existential issues. The band web-site functions as a vitally important link between the band and its far-flung fans. The key ritual in band-fan relations is the live performance, a place for gathering, conversation, singing, dancing, celebration, and intense hedonic experiences. The band's musical work takes place in a particular culture of production, and the meanings of its work are absorbed and circulated in the fans' consumption culture. The band has constructed its own notion of community, namely that of a 'family'. For the sustainability of the band's project, both the band and fans are dependent on each other. All of these elements contribute to an understanding of the complex representation systems surrounding the band's music, and help to explain its longevity (nearly thirty years). The band is involved in the marketplace, but uses a range of strategies to 'de-marketise' and sustain itself. For example (i) the band does a considerable amount of identity-work to 'de-celebritise' itself; (ii) the notion of family is reflected in community values and behaviours, and subsumes band and fans into a larger entity, thus de-centering the marketing exchange in favour of an ethic of sharing; (iii) the boundaries of the family are kept fluid, aiding recruitment of new fans, and (iv) the band resists attempts to define or categorise it musically, politically and subculturally.
WHY MAFFESOLI? Why Maffesoli – what connection does he have with this? MCS people quote him a lot Collective consumer identity, this venue Irish/Celtic ancestry? Worked for Ronald Reagan – roots industry Mother from Balinasloe Gaming development
WHERE DOES HE FIT IN? Position him 2 articles How does he position himself? Revolutionary sociologist Reveries, meanderings Romantic?
What do MCS people say he’s saying? 30+ refs in journal articles Ref in C Tribes Own appearance in C tribes: In book marketing terms (Brown, Consuming Books) Celeb endorsement, an anchor tenant, kitemark, a dab of fragrant French intellectualism Doesn’t talk about anything to do with anything Instances Name checks, quotes, deeper workings over Surprisingly, not in Cova (CT and the other papers) He is being enregistre, enrolled, co-opted? recorded, recruitment in/for a cause?
What does a close reading suggest he is saying? A close reading of what text? – 1988/1996 Shot of the text cover A la recherche des idees perdues … What inferences may we draw from it?
KEY IDEAS - 1 Individual(ism) vs person(hood) vs collective Tribe vs Mass Kinds of tribe, p 6 and 19 = metaphor Permanence of tribe – ephemera – Mayfly/Neolithic? He gives 5 key criteria of tribe - ideology
KEY IDEAS - 2 Social divin (Durkheim, plus primer on soc anthrop) Communion of saints, demotheism, dionysus, reliance, immanent transcendence – not just religiosity, mystical, hope schau – not because they’re in a BC, sect Puissance vs pouvoir, 58-59, 106-7, 133- 4, and vitalism 31-38 Underground centrality, 31-53, ix, 159, 37, 92, 4, 21, 58 Secrecy Society and sociality 56-64
FINDING AN IRISH VOICE Is finding the right word? -> constructing? AN (single) or many voices? How is this to be inflected? Can it include the negative self An Irishman is brave handsome and generous to a fault and any defets in his caharcetr are entirely rhe result to the sad circumatncs of hso coutnry’s history Cromwel was a man of dark, gloomy and merciels charcter
UNDERGROUND CENTRALITY The hypothesis oif the u/g centrlaity: Smetimes secerecy can be the way to estalblsh cointact with the other wihin the confines of a limted group; at the same time it conditions the attitude of the roup towad whatever external force there may be. This Ho is the Ho of sociliaty … the fact of sharing a habit, an ideology or an ideal determines the being-togtehre and allows the later to act as a protection against any imposiiton, frm whatever outsie source. As opposed to an imposed and external morality, the ethic of secrecy is both federative and EQUALIZING … there is an informal underground centrality that assures the perdurabilty of life in society
NOTHING NEW P.98 – these phenomena are nothing new: the agora of Antiquity, or clsoer to home, the passegiata of Italy, or the evening promenade in the south of France all present the same characteisitc, and are considerable sites of sociality P.69 – Whatever name we give these groupings – kinship groups family groups, secondary groups, per groups – there is a proces of tribalism at work that has always existed.
SOLIDARITY P. 93 – solidaity is not an abstraction or the fruit of ratioal calcualtion; it is an imperisou necessity which causes us to act with passion. It is exacting work, giving rise to the above- mentioned obstincay and ruse; for, without a precise goal, the people has only one essential objective: that of ensuing the long-etm survival of the sepciases.
P. 27 – as an alternative to the principle of autonomy, … (Self- direciton, autopoiesis, etc.), we can posit a principle of allonomy, which is based on adjustent, accomoodation, on the organic union with social and natral alerity.
Social vs Sociality (p. 76) A characteristic of the spcial: the individual could have a FUNTION in society, funcitoning in a party, and association, or a stable group A characteriostic of sociality: the person (persona) plays ROLES, both wihin his or her professional activiites as well as within the various tribes in which the person participates. The costume changes as the person, according to personal tastes (sexual, culture, religious, friendship), takes his or her palce each day in the various games of the THEATRUM MUNDI. Sociality and the trbalism it gies rise to are essentially tragic: the themes of apearance, the affective and the orgiastic all elead to the finite and precarious
PERDURABILITY P. 78 – Through one’s own death, the indidicual permits the perdurability of the sepcies P. 34 – ‘social perdurability’ … the ability of the masses to resist … The recognitionof an irrepressible vitlaism may go handin glove woth this … this vitalism has formed an integral part of the depth psychlogy so centrsl to the tweniteh centr
SELF-DEPRECATION P.77 – I have no wish to place my sociological revereies in comeptitin with the speciailsts. P. 86 – let us rather continue our meanderings … P. 89 – we have rambled on about so much
IMPLICATIONS OF THESE READINGS? Always time of tribes Some fit with BC and some fit with tribes But some of his stuff is not getting across When you look at it in the round, what do you get?
ARTICULATING CELTICITY How do people do it? Produciton and consumption of a culural idenity CoC model celtic cross Circuit of signifiers
TRIBALISM 6 – MASSES AND LIFESTYLES 96 - The ‘tribes’ we are considering may have a goal, may have finality; but this is not essential; what is important is the energy expended on constituting the group AS SUCH. 97 – although the tribe is the guarantee of solidarity, it also represents the possibility of control; it can also be the cause of village racism and ostracism
TENSION WITHIN GROUPS P. 89 – For its part, postmodenrity has ended to favour within megalopolises both the withdrawal into the group as wel as adeepending of relationships within these groups, gien that this deepening is in no way synonynmous with unanimism, since conflicet also has a role to play in them.
UNDERGROUND PUISSANCE Vitalism Social Divine Aloofness of the people Refusal to eb part of a structure 63 – Power can and must deal with the management of life; puissance must assume the mantle of survival
SACRALISING THE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION OF POPULAR MUSIC Daragh O’Reilly University of Sheffield Kathy Doherty Sheffield Hallam University Elizabeth Carnegie University of Sheffield Gretchen Larsen University of Bradford
TOPICS Ongoing Research Project The Band Band-side Cultural ‘Texts’ and Circuits Artefacts and Art A ‘Move to Heritage’ Sites of Social Interaction