Musical taste, performance, and identity among West African Canadians

  • Author / Creator
    Friesen, Carinna J
  • In this thesis I consider the role of music in the construction of identity among West African Canadians, focusing on musical taste and performance. Drawing on themes from participant narratives, I look at how music can maintain connections with or reference identities from “home” cultures. Focusing specifically on popular music, I suggest that identification with genres such as hip hop and reggae does not directly imply an identification with the African American or Afro-Caribbean cultures from which they originated, rather I point to how the music refers back to West Africa. I also look at the place of music and religious identity, discussing how performance of religious music embodies multiple registers of individual and communal identity. Traditional music and dance ensembles provide another focus, and I explore how musicians transmit cultural practices and use their profession to foreground West African elements of their identity in Canada’s multicultural society.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Thompson, Guy (History and Classics)
    • Spinetti, Federico (Music)
    • Frishkopf, Michael (Music)