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Constructing Place through Traditions. Antagonism and Knowledge Production within Folk and World Music Education.

Research project
Inactive research
Project owner
Academy of Music and Drama

Short description

Dissertation by Ingrid Hedin Wahlberg, 2020.

Ingrid Hedin Wahlberg
Photo: Privat


The aim of this thesis is to critically examine the educational area of folk and world music within higher education in Sweden, with a focus on questions of knowledge, power, and governance. The study is ethnographic and the data were produced in the 2016–2017 period through observations of lessons, concerts, and examinations in three educational environ- ments, and through interviews with teachers and students.

The analysis identified two antagonistic discourses: music as cultural context and music as autonomous. Techniques of self-governance within a pastoral power mechanism served to disconnect the learning process from the teacher and put responsibility on the student. Two pedagogical positions, the master–apprentice position and the coaching position, were simultaneously present within the educational area, and educational and musical boundaries were drawn between folk and world music education and western art music education. The educational area is characterized through entwining constructions of tradition, place, and identity, and through teaching practices reproducing norms within western folk music. Conflicting interests within the educational area are discussed in relation to questions of power and governance within musical learning. In conclusion, the educational area of folk and world music within higher music education is understood as producing knowledge centred on musical constructions of place.


Title: Att göra plats för traditioner. Antagonism och kunskapsproduktion inom folk- och världsmusikutbildning
English title: Constructing Place through Traditions: Antagonism and Knowledge Production within Folk and World Music Education
Author: Ingrid Hedin Wahlberg
Research subject: Music Education
Language: Swedish with a summary in English
ISBN: 978-91-7833-830-6 (printed version)
ISBN: 978-91-7833-831-3 (digital version)