Underground Expressions: An Ethnographic Study Of The Norms And Values Of The Hip-hop & Street Styles Dance Battle Scene’s Culture In London, United Kingdom / Emi Matsushita (2019)

Underground Expressions: An Ethnographic Study Of The Norms And Values Of The Hip-hop & Street Styles Dance Battle Scene’s Culture In London, United Kingdom

Author: Emi Matsushita

Course: MFA Dance Science

Year: 2019

Keywords: Ethnology - research, Hip-hop, Street dance,

Abstract

The hip-hop & street styles dance battle scene is a recently emerged sub-culture with loose definitions of its roots due to its beginnings as a ‘youth culture’ in the streets and clubs. It also has complex roots from its diverse constituent [dance] styles such as b-boying/b-girling, hip-hop, and locking, amongst others, and a connotation as a minority sub-culture. Accordingly, research into this field remains limited.

This study’s focus was to understand the cultural norms & values upheld by specifically looking into the London scene, observing what is valued and the expectations of constituents and their behaviours today. This was done by relying on a thorough base of knowledge from literature highlighting its origins, which also enabled the identification of any divergence from its roots.

The ethnographic methodology chosen utilised 1:1 interviews, a focus group, observations, and personal diaries to gather data. The methodology highlighted voices from within the scene and data analysis was enriched by the researcher’s personal experiences. Six themes were revealed regarding the norms and values ranging from personal gratification to structure & definition; all prioritising the maintenance of the scene’s ‘sacred space’ for future generations. A complex interplay between the norms & values was also exposed accentuating internal reinforcement and conflict. An increasing mainstream influence in addition to internal conflicts emphasises the potential for further inquiry. In general, the study highlights the culture’s innate value as an entity worthy of investigation.

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APA
Matsushita, Emi. (2019). Underground Expressions: An Ethnographic Study Of The Norms And Values Of The Hip-hop & Street Styles Dance Battle Scene’s Culture In London, United Kingdom (Masters’ theses). Retrieved https://researchonline.trinitylaban.ac.uk/oa/thesis/?p=1222