Kunskap genom rap: Hiphop som hantverk, pedagogik och aktivism

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Kunskap genom rap: Hiphop som hantverk, pedagogik och aktivism

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Kunskap genom rap: Hiphop som hantverk, pedagogik och aktivism
Author(s) Söderman, Johan ; Folkestad, Göran
Date 2008
English abstract
Knowledge through rap – hiphop as craft, education and activism This article highlights three rappers who use hiphop as a tool for craft, activism and education. Toni Blackman uses hiphop to mediate a musical craftsmanship. Her educational and social projects with hiphop has attracted some attention in different media. She has been guest professor at the University of Michigan and she has visited different countries in Africa, Europe and Asia as an American Cultural Specialist and as a volontary worker for UNESCO. Nabila Abdul Fattah connects her hiphop activities with political activism. She has a social pedagogy degree and works as a recreation instructor in the area of Hammarkullen in Gothenburg. She also gives concerts as a rapper and works as a journalist. In the pedagogy of Behrang Miri, hiphop is an effective tool when communicating with children and young people. He is well-known for his educational activities in the region of Malmö. Among other things, he has been holding lectures at Malmö Academy of Music and at Malmö University. The research question in this article is formulated as: How do rappers talk about hiphop, their activities, and learning, starting from the notions of musical craftsmanship, education and activism? Qualitative and individual interviews have been carried out in the study. The interviews can be seen as semi-structured and as naturally occuring talk, even though there was a clear focus on learning and hiphop in the conversations. The interviews have been transcribed and each interview lasted for approximately one hour. Supplementary data from other interviews in the media have also been used to provide a more thorough understanding of the rappers. The rappers talk about hiphop as a political tool. Political engagement can be promoted by a connection to hiphop. The music is described as a language which can communciate with people who usually don’t read newspapers. Music is an informative force, which makes it suitable for political messages. The rappers express a conviction that there is an emancipatory force within hiphop music, which can plead the cause of marginalized people. Marginalization and alienation are recurrent themes in the talk of the rappers. Women and Afro-Americans are two groups who are described as marginalized in American society. This collective feeling of marginalization, something experienced by many Afro-Americans, is often described in famous hiphop songs. Nabila was the only foreigner in her class at school in Sundsvall where she grew up. She dreamt of being blond so she would look like the other girls in the class. Behrang saw the alienation when he started high-school and was the only foreigner in his class. All three rappers are convinced that unjustice exists in society and that some people are being marginalized and stigmatized. The rappers want to be the voice of the weak. Nabila wishes to give voice to the groups of people whose voices go unheard. Toni is fighting for female rappers, so that they may make their voices heard in the world of hiphop dominated by men. Behrang’s mission is to get young people of different social backgrounds to get to know each other, from a local as well as a global perspective. He works with the integration between schools in Malmö, which is a city described in Swedish media as the most segregated in Sweden. A constant theme in the rappers’ talk is the power of knowledge. Since hiphop started 30 years ago, social activism and education have been associated with hiphop. The founder, Afrika Bambaataa, has talked about knowledge as the fifth element of hiphop. Nabila expresses the importance of knowledge and education in her talk. Behrang describes how he started to do well at school thanks to hiphop. He thus bestows a compensatory function on hiphop, and expresses the possibility to achieve traditional knowledge through hiphop. Like the Scandinavian adult educators in the past, the rappers wish to become the mouthpieces of the weak people in society. At the same time the double function of Scandinavian adult education is made visible in the talk of the rappers: a radical educational ideal with an emancipatory purpose, where people are the subjects is interacting with a patriarchal ideal where the people are the objects, and good taste is announced to other people from an “above perspective”. This is all about an aestethic training in order to “inoculate” people against commercial culture. It has its roots in a bourgeois ideology. Thus, these adult educating rappers can be seen as both culturally conservative and culturally radical in their talk about their educational activities.
Swedish abstract
I fokus för denna artikel står tre rappare som i sina respektive verksamheter använder hiphop som hantverk, pedagogik och aktivism. Forskningsfrågan formulerades: Hur talar rappare om hiphop, sin verksamhet och om lärande med utgångspunkt i begreppen musikaliskt hantverk, pedagogik och aktivism? Individuella intervjuer har genomförts med de tre rapparna. Intervjuerna var närmast ostrukturerade och kan betraktas som fria samtal även om samtalen fokuserade på lärande och hiphop. I den kvalitativa analysen framträder hur rapparna talar om hiphop som politiskt verktyg, om marginalisering och utanförskap, om hur de gör sig själva till röster för samhällets svagare grupper och om kunskapens kraft. Folkbildningens dubbla funktion synliggörs i rapparnas tal om sina respektive verksamheter. Ett radikalt bildningsideal med emancipatorisk målsättning framträder där rapparna kämpar för att marginaliserade grupper ska kunna höja sina röster och förändra sina respektive livssituationer. Samtidigt framträder konturerna av ett patriarkalt bildningsideal, där människor görs till objekt. De tre rapparna ansluter sig här till en tradition där folkbildning innebär att förkunna ”den goda smaken” vilket blir synonymt med den goda hiphoppen. Dessa folkbildande rappare framstår således både som kulturradikala och kulturkonservativa i sitt tal om den folkbildande verksamheten.
Publisher Göteborgs universitet
Host/Issue Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige;1
Volume 13
ISSN 1401-6788
Pages 1-18
Language swe (iso)
Subject(s) hiphop
lärande pedagogik
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://www.ped.gu.se/pedfo/v13/n1.html (link to this page)
http://hdl.handle.net/2043/6162 (link to this page)

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