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'Music of origin': class, social category and the performers and audience of "Kiba", a South African migrant genre

James, Deborah (1997) 'Music of origin': class, social category and the performers and audience of "Kiba", a South African migrant genre. Africa: the Journal of the International African Institute, 67 (3). pp. 454-475. ISSN 0001-9720

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This article uses a case study of the kiba migrant performance genre from the Northern Province of South Africa to illuminate recent theoretical ideas on the role of performers and audiences, and in so doing to offer a critical perspective on the way in which the concept of class has been conceptualised in some southern African studies. While the homogenising and Western-derived concept of class may well be unsuitable in some African and other southern contexts, as certain writers have claimed, migrant northern Sotho communities have developed indigenous notions of social category which combine modern work-related sources of identity with apparently backward-looking celebrations of traditional behaviour. The article examines the contention of performance theory that cultural expression does not merely reflect the predilections of established groupings of people but may provide a focus for the consolidation and identity of new ones.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1997 International African Institute
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Date Deposited: 14 May 2013 13:31

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