Signs and Sounds: Identity Projects and Postmodern Bricolage in a Chinese Punk Rock Community

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Signs and Sounds: Identity Projects and Postmodern Bricolage in a Chinese Punk Rock Community

Master thesis

Author: Stian Vestby

University: Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies; Telemark University College

Published: 2009

Supervisors: Ingmar Meland (Associate Professor at TUC, Norway) and Unn MÃ¥lfrid H. Rolandsen (Associate Professor at Oslo University, Norway)


General Information

In this case study the author investigates music and identity as played out in the everyday lives of members of four alternative Wuhan bands. A focus is placed on ways to utilize different modes of esthetic expression and rhetorical strategies in mediating freedom, deviance and authenticity in an increasingly globalized, eclectic and at the same time restrained socio-cultural context.

The thesis involves the Wuhan bands SMZB, Aberration, Dan Mai and Low Space. It includes illustrating examples of rock symbolism and punk esthetics present in the bands' music, lyrics, live performances and image. Attention is also given to creativity online, e.g. on user-generated Internet profiles and blogs. Finally, the thesis contains many examples of ideas and opinions held by some of the band members, shedding some light on how personal ideology and value sets may be reflected in music and style.

Further Information

  • The thesis has been marked confidential by the university college due to ethical considerations. However, on request with author (stian.vestby@gmail.com) and the mentioning of use, the thesis is available as PDF.
  • Prizes: Best MA thesis on an Asia-related topic written at Norwegian HEIs in 2009. Awarded by Network of Asia Studies at Oslo University in June 2010.

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