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CSM Intersectional Identity Politics & Music Theory Research Paper

This paper is a research paper (1200-1400 words) that engages one of the social concepts discussed in this course and examines it in relation to any popular music or musical scene of your choosing. The main concepts of our course are cultural production, cultural appropriation, subculture, intersectional identity politics, and sound recording technology. The overall objective of this research paper is to deepen your knowledge of popular music and your ability to critically analyze popular music with a social concept.

This is an opportunity for you to take a critical look at the latest artists, recent album releases, or musical genres and scenes that excite you! One way of organizing your topic is to link a type of music to a specific group of people and highlight a prevalent social concept. For example, I could begin research with the following: mumble rap + Lil Wayne + cultural production. Another example could be: Protestant/religious popular hymns + immigrant females + intersectional identity (gender and religion). These types of combinations would give you several leads to pursue in the research literature.

Your paper must have a focused research statement (called a “thesis” or an “argument”). Your paper should contain cultural, musical, and historical details. Your paper should also contain cogent, thoughtful analysis. If you choose to write about music or musicians that are covered specifically in the lectures, readings, or sections, you must be sure to go beyond the details presented in the course. You will be marked down if you only use material presented in this course.

This paper places a heavy emphasis on secondary/library sources. You should plan on working through online academic journals and books to uncover the existing literature on your topic. You are welcome to reference as many sources as you wish; however, you will be required to reference at least three academic sources and two non-academic or journalistic publications. None of these five required sources can be from the classroom readings. As a research paper, your analysis will include in-text citations and a “References Cited/Bibliography” section.

In your first paragraph, write a statement that: Explains how one social concept lends a particular meaning to the popular music that you have selected for analysis. 


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