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Rap music in Tunisia – Voice of the people

A qualitative approach to explore the logic which determines the structures of the field of rap music in Tunisia

Given the revolutionary developments in Arabic countries and Tunisia as the initial country of the Arabic Spring, this thesis aims to explore the field of Tunisian rap music as an alternative to the restricted media system. The research question is: which logic determines the structures of the field of rap music in Tunisia. The study focuses on the dominant professional milieus and role perceptions of rappers. It also attempts to carve out the interaction of social movements, music reflecting social issues and artists as interveners.
The research approach provides theoretical knowledge about the development of rap music in Tunisia. The qualitative approach was based on the theoretical concepts of Pierre Bourdieu. Eight guideline-based interviews with Tunisian rappers were conducted.
The findings reveal several consistent results: The field specific opus operatum can be characterized by a complicating social background and weak effort in secondary/professional socialisation. The modus operandi is defined by a strong professional self-concept and a close relationship between music and society: Rappers as the public’s voice and revolution as a collective event. The field specific capital reveals the importance of social and symbolic capital. The field structures outline a low self-determination and degree of autonomy.
Concluding, the structures of the field provide special features which show closeness to the political and journalistic field as well as to society.
Die Arbeit wurde auf Englisch verfasst, die Interviews wurden vor Ort durchgeführt.