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Music and the MindEssays in honour of John Sloboda$
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Irène Deliège and Jane Davidson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199581566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199581566.001.0001

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The role of music in the integration of cultural minorities

The role of music in the integration of cultural minorities

(p.379) Chapter 19 The role of music in the integration of cultural minorities
Music and the Mind

Richard Parncutt

Angelika Dorfer

Oxford University Press

Social, cultural, and political integration involves multiple interactions between and among migrant minorities and the indigenous majority. Measures of integration include frequency of contact, feeling of belonging, and mutual acceptance of other cultural groups. Intercultural exchange and the construction of new cultural identities can both promote and hinder integration. The literature on integration addresses language skills, education, occupation, income, (un)employment, and social capital. What is the role of culture, including music? Twenty-four participants in a musicology course unit interviewed 54 migrants living in Graz, Austria. The interviewees came from Albania, China, Egypt (Copts), Iraq (Kurds), Italy, Nigeria, and Serbia. They spoke about music in their everyday lives, music they perform, their cultural identity and social contacts, the music, customs and traditions of their group, their favourite CDs, and the relationship between music and integration. Qualitative analysis yielded theses such as: migrants identify emotionally with the music of their culture, which helps them to feel at home in a new environment. Music is easier to understand across cultures than language. Music promotes intercultural contact by arousing curiosity and creating a social atmosphere.

Keywords:   John Sloboda, music psychology, international politics, integration, cultural minority

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