MacIntyre, Bourdieu and the practice of jazz

Banks, M. (2012) MacIntyre, Bourdieu and the practice of jazz. Popular Music, 31(1), pp. 69-86. (doi: 10.1017/s0261143011000468)

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Abstract

This article offers a sociological account of the labour of jazz musicians. The first part is concerned with elaborating a theory of jazz work based on Alasdair MacIntyre's notion of social practices. Applying this theory to recent empirical work with British jazz musicians, the article reveals how the virtuous pursuit of specific ‘internal goods’ is judged to be particularly prominent in jazz, suggesting that it might constitute an ethical practice in MacIntyrean terms. While MacIntyre's theory is argued to offer a congenial framework for an analysis of jazz, it is then compared and contrasted with more established readings of jazz practice – based on the work of Pierre Bourdieu – which suggest more objective and instrumental motivations for working in jazz. The article concludes by evaluating the relative merits of each approach.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Banks, Professor Mark
Authors: Banks, M.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Popular Music
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0261-1430
ISSN (Online):1474-0095
Published Online:01 February 2012

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