English Rock and Pop Performances

A sociolinguistic investigation of British and American language perceptions and attitudes

ORCID logoLisa Jansen | University of Münster
ISBN 9789027210944 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027257895 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
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This book addresses the phenomenon of non-American rock and pop singers emulating an Americanized singing style for performance purposes. By taking a novel approach to this pop cultural trend and drawing attention to the audience, British and American students’ perceptions of English rock and pop performances were elicited. Interviews guided by various music clips were conducted and analyzed through a detailed qualitative content analysis. The interviewees' responses provide important insights into social meanings attached to Americanized voices and local British accents in the respective genres and show how British and American attitudes toward these performance accents differ. These perceptions and attitudes are illustrated by developing associative fields which offer a fresh view on the notion of indexicalities.
An engaging folk linguistic investigation of a relatable everyday pop culture phenomenon, this book makes complex sociolinguistic phenomena easily approachable and qualitative research accessible. It is suitable for intermediate students onward and inspires further research projects in the field of language performances.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“I do find there to be enormous value, and, true to the author’s goal, an acknowledged gap greatly filled in here, in measuring the effects of the audience and their comments to these pop/rock stimuli. [...] This is a book that is needed and will almost certainly be referred to frequently in the future of singing performance studies.”
“The notion of indexical fields applied in the collection-analysis methodology contributes to the understanding of the ideological processes of language and opens up various possibilities for future research; moreover, it invites a discussion of sociolinguistic concepts in a larger context of globalization, localization, and global localization (e.g., Blommaert 2010:23; Robertson, 1995). Moreover, this book's unique research perspective – the audience perspective – provides a nuanced viewpoint to the studies of sociolinguistics, particularly in the context of performance art, where the opinions of the audience (or users) are key to success as the voice of the audience becomes increasingly essential with the growing structure of online media participation. Members of the audience are actively involved in shaping the cultural values of the language. This study highlights the hermeneutic cycle of production and perception, giving the audience the attention it deserves.”
“Jansen’s terminological breakdown effectively shifts the focus to the long under-researched—and often underrated—role of the audience in the creation and evaluation of stylistic practices. With its thorough literature review, detailed methodology, and interesting interview excerpts, this book would be appealing not only to scholars of the discipline but also to anyone familiar with and curious about the stylistic features of English rock and pop music.”
Cited by

Cited by 2 other publications

Fernández de Molina Ortés, Elena
2023. An Example of Linguistic Stylization in Spanish Musical Genres: Flamenco and Latin Music in Rosalía’s Discography. Languages 8:2  pp. 128 ff. DOI logo
Marko, Karoline, Margit Reitbauer & Georg Pickl
2022. Same person, different platform. Register Studies 4:2  pp. 202 ff. DOI logo

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Main BIC Subject

CFB: Sociolinguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009050: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2021059070 | Marc record