Music Culture and the Self-Presentation of Indigenous Musicians on Social Media in Contemporary Taiwan

Lin, G. 2021. Music Culture and the Self-Presentation of Indigenous Musicians on Social Media in Contemporary Taiwan. PhD thesis University of Westminster Westminster School of Media and Communication https://doi.org/10.34737/v4zzq

TitleMusic Culture and the Self-Presentation of Indigenous Musicians on Social Media in Contemporary Taiwan
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsLin, G.
Abstract

The purpose of this research was to provide an indigenous perspective of popular culture in Taiwan as a means to re-examine Taiwanese contemporary identity. In-depth qualitative interviews and digital ethnography were adopted to collect data about indigenous musicians' self-presentation on social media. Being an indigenous musician in postmodern Taiwan is a highly contested phenomenon, as social media offers a
double-edged sword requiring a conjunctional analysis that delves into both the past and the contemporary. This research unpacks the performance of contemporary indigenous musicians in the post-digital media age and offers five findings. Firstly, the indigenous musicians interviewed for the purpose of this research use social media to perform their indigenous identities to wider audiences, both indigenous and nonindigenous. Secondly, identity performances of indigenous musicians on social media are inspired by and reflect the richness and diversity of Taiwanese society. Thirdly, indigenous musicians act as spatio-temporal bridges commuting between urban and rural spaces, on- and offline and between tradition and contemporaneity. Fourthly, indigenous musicians in Taiwan do not only create and perform music, but also give a huge importance to defining and re-articulating what they think indigenous music is and what role it should play in contemporary Taiwanese society. Finally, online selfpresentation provides indigenous musicians with an opportunity to present their performed identities beyond the local to a global audience, allowing non-indigenous audiences to participate in their culture. Using empirical evidence from the interviews and the digital ethnography, this thesis demonstrates how identity performances by Taiwanese indigenous musicians oscillate between three different and inter-related identity processes: ‘doing’ indigenous, ‘being indigenous’, and ‘becoming’ indigenous.

Year2021
File
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Publication dates
PublishedApr 2021
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.34737/v4zzq

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