Karaoke and class

Karaoke challenges the hegemony of the status quo by breaking down the received rules of cultural production and challenging binary notions of high vs. low art, live vs. recorded performance, and amateur vs. professional performers.

In so doing, karaoke engenders liveness anxiety—a territorial behavior among social critics, scholars, and performers that comprises a fear of performances that do not fit the template dictated by the wielders of cultural power. Karaoke is a viable site for mounting a lower-class defense against the onslaught of cultural elites; and its multibillion-dollar industry continues to grow every year.

This according to “Liveness anxiety: Karaoke and the performance of class” by Kevin Brown (Popular entertainment studies I/2 [2010], pp. 61–77). Thanks to the Improbable Research blog for bringing this article to our attention!

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Filed under Mass media, Performance practice, Popular music, Reception

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