Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
Whites make up the majority of hip-hop consumers and participants. However, scholars have created a clear link between hip-hop, the African American community, and African Diaspora. Through ethnographic fieldwork and autoethnography, I explore the intersection of race and hip-hop. With the data from my trips to hip-hop events and in-depth interviews: I answered 5 research question.
(RQ1) How does tension between subculturalists and post-subculturalists influence the understanding of how the hip-hop community is shaped by hip-hop music and art?
(RQ2) In what ways do white hip-hoppers conceptualize authenticity in hip-hop?
(RQ3) In what ways do whites re/present an authentic hip-hop identity?
(RQ4) How does whiteness influence white hip-hoppers' authenticity?
(RQ5) How does hip-hop influence how whites understand race?
Due to changes in the culture, I found that both subcultural and post-subcultural theorist account for different elements of the structure of hip-hop communit(ies). The participants in this study noted an oscillation between class/resistance community identity, as described by subculturist, and a neo-tribal, accounted for by post-subculture theorist. Hip-hoppers' oscillation between these poles facilitated the ability of white hip-hoppers to manipulate/alter markers of authenticity
to benefit their re/presentation of an authentic hip-hop persona. Along with the changing structure of hip-hop, whites also utilized their white privilege to enable their selective adherence to previously documented authenticity markers. While white hip-hoppers are acutely aware of
race, their ability to discuss race in hip-hop and beyond was influenced more by factors unrelated to their participation in the hip-hop community, such as type/level of education.
Anderson, Dale Compton, "Re/presentation Of Hip-Hop: An Exploration Of White Hip-Hop Fans, Consumers And Practitioners" (2014). Wayne State University Dissertations. 1113.