The emergence of post-hybrid identities : a comparative analysis of national identity formations in Germany’s contemporary hip-hop culture
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This thesis examines how hip-hop has become a meaningful cultural movement for contemporary artists in Hamburg and in Oldenburg. The comparative analysis is guided by a three-dimensional theoretical framework that considers the spatial, historical and social influences, which have shaped hip-hop music, dance, rap and graffiti art in the USA and subsequently in the two northern German cities. The research methods entail participant observation, semi-structured interviews and a close reading of hip-hop’s cultural texts in the form of videos, photographs and lyrics. The first chapter analyses the manifestation of hip-hop music in Hamburg. The second chapter looks at the local adaptation of hip-hop’s dance styles. The last two chapters on rap and graffiti art present a comparative analysis between the art forms’ appropriation in Hamburg and in Oldenburg. In comparing hip-hop’s four main elements and their practices in two distinct cities, this research project expands current German hip-hop scholarship beyond the common focus on rap, especially in terms of rap being a voice of the minority. It also offers insights into the ways in which artists express their local, regional or national identity as a culturally hybrid state, since hip-hop’s art forms have always been the result of cultural and artistic mixture. The theoretical focus on spatiality, historicality and sociality moreover reveals different and even contradicting manifestations of cultural hybridity and identity in hip-hop. In particular, this thesis looks at the formation of post-hybrid identities, with which hip-hop artists aim at expressing their multiculturality as an inherent part of their life in Germany.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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