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Heartbeats of the Great Dragon: The Space for Political Expression in the Music Scene of Beijing
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay will explore the space for political expression in the music scene of Beijing; as perceived by local musicians. The study tries to answer the question on what the space is for expressing views in music that contradict the Chinese government. Through the accounts of musicians in Beijing, what the perceived political space is and what aspects of musicians’ reality that affect this perception of space are investigated. It does this through a qualitative case study of the Beijing music scene consisting of interviews with musicians as well as related music professionals, conducted during the 15th of May until the 15th of July in 2015. Through relating to previous research on political censorship in authoritarian regimes, it aims to contribute to the research field as well as to put censorship of music in a theoretical context. The study concludes that there is a perceived “indirect” space in Beijing music for non-conforming political views to be expressed, as well as finding and outlining four main factors that contribute to this perception; namely 1. The censorship apparatus; 2. New freedoms: the economy and the Internet; 3. (Music) Career prospects and 4. The politics of Beijing. Conclusively, the argument is made for further analysis of written material in Chinese music (e.g. lyrics and song titles) to enrich these findings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 43 p.
Keyword [en]
political views, Beijing, China, underground music, political censorship, authoritarian regimes
National Category
Globalization Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-295408OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-295408DiVA: diva2:933590
Subject / course
Development Studies
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Peace and Development Studies
Available from: 2016-06-10 Created: 2016-06-06 Last updated: 2016-06-10Bibliographically approved

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