Skip to main content Accessibility help

The formation of ‘Hip-Hop Academicus’ – how American scholars talk about the academisation of hip-hop

  • Johan Söderman (a1)

Social activism and education have been associated with hip-hop since it emerged in New York City 38 years ago. Therefore, it might not be surprising that universities have become interested in hip-hop. This article aims to highlight this ‘hip-hop academisation’ and analyse the discursive mechanisms that manifest in these academisation processes. The guiding research question explores how hip-hop scholars talk about this academisation. The theoretical framework is informed by the scholarship of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Hip-hop scholars were interviewed in New York City during 2010. The results demonstrate themes of hip-hop as an attractive label, a door opener, a form of ‘low-culture’, a trap and an educational tool.

Hide All
AMBJÖRNSSON, F. (2004) I en klass för sig: genus, klass, sexualitet bland gymnasietjejer. Stockholm: Ordfront.
BACK, L. (1996) New Ethnicities and Urban Culture. London: Routledge.
BECKER, H. S. (1963) Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. New York: Free Press.
BOURDIEU, P. (1988) Homo Academicus. Oxford: Polity Press.
BOURDIEU, P. (1991) Kultur och kritik. Göteborg: Daidalos.
BOURDIEU, P. (2000) Konstens regler. Det litterära fältets uppkomst och struktur. Stehag: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion.
BOURGOIS, P. (2003) In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
BRÄNDSTRÖM, S., SÖDERMAN, J. & THORGERSEN, K. (2012) The double feature of musical folkbildning: three Swedish examples. British Journal of Music Education, 29, 6574.
CHANG, J. (2005) Can't Stop, Won't Stop. A History of the Hip Hop Generation. New York: St Martin's Press.
DARDER, D., BALTODANO, M. & TORRES, R.D. (2003) The Critical Pedagogy Reader. New York: Routledge.
DEWEY, J. (1916/1999) Demokrati och utbildning. Göteborg: Bokförlaget Daidalos.
DIMITRIARDIS, G. (2001) Performing Identity/Performing Culture: Hip Hop as Text, Pedagogy and Lived Practice. New York: Peter Lang.
DU BOIS, W. E. B. (1903/1999) The Souls of Black Folks. New York: Oxford University Press.
DU BOIS, W. E. B. (1973/2001) The Education of Black People. New York: Monthly Review Press.
DYSON, M. E. (2007) Know What I Mean? Reflections on Hip-hop. New York: Basic Civitas.
EMDIN, C. (2010) Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation. Essential Tools for the Urban Science Educator and Researcher. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
EHN, B. & LÖFGREN, O. (2001) Kulturanalyser. Ett etnologiskt perspektiv. Lund: Gleerups.
FAIRCLOUGH, M. (2003) Analysing Discourse. Textual Analysis for Social Research. Bodmin: Routledge.
FORMAN, M. & NEAL, M. A. (2004) That's the joint! The Hip-Hop Studies Reader. New York: Routledge.
FORNÄS, J. (1996) Rockens pedagogiseringsproblem. In Brändström, S. (Ed.) Rockmusik och skola. Reports from Conference 29–30 March 1996 in Piteå. Musikhögskolan I Piteå, rapportserie nr 1996:2.
FORNÄS, J., LINDBERG, U. & SERNHEDE, O. (1995) In Garageland. Rock, Youth and Modernity. London: Routledge.
GILROY, P. (1993) The Black Atlantic. Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
GILROY, P. (2010) Darker Than Blue. On the Morality Economies of Black Atlantic Culture. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
GOSA, T. & FIELDS, T. (2012) Is hip-hop education another hustle? The (ir)responsible use of hip-hop as pedagogy. In Porfilio, B. & Viola, M. (Eds.), Hip-Hop(e): The Cultural Practice and Critical Pedagogy of International Hip-Hop, pp. 195210. New York: Peter Lang.
GULLBERG, A. (1999) Formspråk och spelregler. En studie i rockmusicerande inom och utanför Musikhögskolan. Luleå: Musikhögskolan i Piteå, Luleå tekniska universitet.
HALL, S. (1996) Who needs ‘identity’? In du Gay, P. (Ed.), Questions of Cultural Identity, pp. 117. London: Sage.
HARMANCI, R. (2007) Academic Hip-Hop? Yes, Yes Y'all. SF Gate (, 3 March 2007.
HILL, M. L. (2009) Beats Rhymes +Classroom Life. Hip-hop Pedagogy + The Politics of Identity. New York: Teachers College Press.
JOHANSSON, T. (2010) Etnografi som teori, metod och livsstil. Educare, 1, 729.
KVALE, S. (1997) Den kvalitativa forskningsintervjun. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
KOZOL, J. (2005) The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America. New York: Crown Publishers.
LADSON-BILLINGS, G. (1994) The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children. San Francisco, CA: Josey Bass.
LALANDER, P. (2009) Respekt – Gatukultur, ny etnicitet och droger. Malmö: Liber.
NERLAND, M. (2004) Instrumentalundervisning som kulturell praksis. En diskursorientert studie av hovedinstrument-undervisning i høyere musikkutdanning. Oslo: Gunnarshaug Trykkeri AS.
OLSSON, B. (1993) Sämus – en musikutbildning i kulturpolitikens tjänst? En studie om musikutbildning på 1970-talet. Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet.
PETCHAUER, E. (2009) Framing and reviewing hip-hop educational research. Review of Educational Research, 79, 946978.
PETCHAUER, E. (2012) Hip-Hop Culture in College Students’ Lives. Elements, Embodiment, and Higher Edutainment. New York: Routledge.
POTTER, J. (1996) Representing Reality. Discourse, Rhetoric and Social Construction. London: Sage.
POUGH, G. D. (2001) Seeds and legacies. Tapping the potential in hip-hop. Doula: The Journal of Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture, 1, 2, 926.
ROSE, T. (1994) Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.
ROSE, T. (2008) Hip Hop Wars. What We talk about When We talk about Hip Hop – And Why it Matters. New York: Basic Civitas Books.
RUNELL, M. & DIAZ, M. (2007) The Hip-hop Education Guide Book. Vol. 1. New York: Hip-hop Association Inc.
SANDBERG, S. & PEDERSEN, W. (2007) Gatekapital. Oslo: Universitetsförlaget.
SERNHEDE, O. (2002) Alienation is my Nation. Hiphop unga mäns utanförskap i det nya Sverige. Stockholm: Ordfront.
SINGH, M., KENWAY, J. & APPLE, M. W. (2005) Globalizing education: perspectives from above and below. In Apple, M. W., Kenway, J. & Singh, M. (Eds.) Globalizing Education. Policies, Pedagogies & Politics, pp. 130. New York: Peter Lang.
SÖDERMAN, J. (2010) The formation of a professional hip-hop identity: a presentation of six Swedish rappers. In Horgby, B. & Nilsson, F. (Eds.), Rockin’ the Borders: Rock Music and Social, Cultural and Political Change, pp. 139155. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
SÖDERMAN, J. (2011a) Folkbildning through hip-hop. How the ideals of three rappers parallel a Scandinavian educational tradition. Music Education Research, 13, 211225.
SÖDERMAN, J. (2011b) Vem är egentligen expert? Hiphop som utbildningspolitik och progressiv pedagogik i USA. I Educare 2011: 2, Tema: Välfärdstat i omvandling: reglerad barndom – oregerlig ungdom? pp. 123–150.
SÖDERMAN, J. (2012) Gatan möter universitetet. Symboliska insatser under akademiska arrangemang kring hiphop. I J. Lundin Intro- En antologi om musik och samhälle, pp. 255269. Riga: Malmö.
SÖDERMAN, J. & FOLKESTAD, G. (2004) How hip hop musicians learn: strategies in informal creative music making. Music Education Research, 6, 313326.
STOUGAARD PEDERSEN, B. (2011) Hvor blev beatet af?Centrale positioner inden for akademisk hiphoplitteratur. Danish Musicology online.
THORNTON, S. (1995) Club Cultures. Music, Media and Subcultural Capital. Bodmin: PolityPress.
TOOP, D. (1984/2000) Rap Attack. London: Serpent's Tail.
WATKINS, C. (2005) Hip-hop Matters. Politics, Pop Culture & the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
WACQUANT, L. J. D. (2009) Punishing the Poor. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
WILLIS, P. (1977) Learning to Labour: How Working Class Kids get Working Class Jobs. Aldershot: Gower Publishing.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Music Education
  • ISSN: 0265-0517
  • EISSN: 1469-2104
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-music-education
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed