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Subjectivity and forms of resistance : the construction of resistance through discourse and embodied discursive practices in hip hop.

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This study analyzed the process of subject formation in South African underground hip hoppers. The main focus of the study was to explore how resistance is constructed and achieved through embodied discursive practices and discourse in underground Hip Hop music. The study analyzed how the terms, 'Representing', 'Keeping it real' and 'Hustling', were used by hip hoppers in their construction of a hip hop subject. These terms were used by the hip hoppers as the standard against which all hip hoppers are compared if they are to be considered authentic hip hoppers. It was found that resistance was framed in the form of a heroic narrative that made use of these vernacular terms. The word 'Hustling' was used to denote the difficulties that face the hero in a heroic narrative. This heroic narrative was a strategy in which the hip hoppers repositioned themselves as heroes fighting in a hard world, one full of inopportunity against people like themselves. Overcoming this space was important to the hip hoppers but retaining connections to it was also seen as equally important. Because of the history of opposition surrounding the emergence of hip hop, claiming and retaining marginalization remain important to hip hoppers in accounts of themselves.


Thesis (M.Soc.Sc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2012.


Hip-hop--South Africa., Rap (Music)--South Africa., Subjectivity in music., Discursive psychology--South Africa., Resistance (Psychoanalysis)--South Africa., Theses--Psychology.