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Capitalizing on community music : a case study of the manifestation of social capital in a community choir


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Langston, Thomas W 2005 , 'Capitalizing on community music : a case study of the manifestation of social capital in a community choir', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This study examines the manifestation of social capital in a Community
Choir and explores the links between community music, and the generation
and use of social capital in community settings.
Whilst there is an extensive literature on social capital and its generation
and use in communities, little is known about the ways in which social
capital is manifested in community music settings. The literature identifies
social capital through the presence of 'indicators' such as 'trust',
'community and civic involvement',and 'networks'. This study sought to
identify those indicators of social capital that are present in a Community
Choir in regional Tasmania.
There is considerable debate in the literature as to what constitutes
'community music'. In this study, I distinguish between two forms of
community music: Community Music (CM), characterised by professional
intervention in community settings; and. Music in the Community (MiC),
characterised by music-making that arises from 'grass-roots' activity in and
by the community. Whilst both forms of community music can generate
social capital, in this study I suggest that the social capital generated by
MiC is more sustainable.
This qualitative, interpretive case study employs multiple data generation
methods including surveys, field notes, and semi-structured interviews.
Narrative analysis of data from a Quartet of choir members is employed to
construct individual stories of engagement within the choir, and
participation in the generation and use of social capital. An analysis of
narrative approach is used to interrogate data from the main body of the
Community Choir, {Tutti), and to identify those social capital indicators
present in the Community Choir.
Through analysis of the data, it is evident that the social capital indicators
identified in the literature, specifically those of shared norms and values,trust, civic and community involvement, networks, knowledge resources,
and, contact with families and friends, are present in the Community Choir.
Further, a previously unemphasized social capital indicator that of
Fellowship, is identified as a key component in group cohesion and social
capital development within the Community Choir.
A key element in the generation of social capital in the choir is the
identification of a 'new' form of community, a community of common
histories. I suggest that the identification of such communities has
significance for understanding why individuals participate in community
groups, and how social capital and groups develop. The literature suggests
that those who participate in community activities keep their minds and
bodies active, live longer, and maintain health and well-being more
effectively. The study of MiC activities such as the Community Choir
holds potential to inform policy development and community practice in
relation to Australia's aging population.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Langston, Thomas W
Keywords: Community music, Music
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2005 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s)

Additional Information:

Thesis (EdD.)--University of Tasmania, 2005. Includes bibliographical references

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