Middle-class music making? Social class, “race,” and their intersections in the practice of school popular music
Koskela, Minja (2022)
Pennsylvania State University
Koskela, M. (2022). Middle-class music making? Social class, “race,” and their intersections in the practice of school popular music. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 23(7). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea23n7
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
This article explores how social class, “race,” and their intersections manifest in Finnish popular music education (PME) through an exploration of popular music practices in one upper elementary music classroom where I worked as a teacher-researcher. By engaging with systems reflexivity, I illustrate how social class, racialization, and their intersections work together with the social system of PME to maintain inequalities. I argue that in the popular music classroom, identity work is especially required from the students who belong to racialized and lower-class groups. Furthermore, I argue that PME (re)produces a Eurocentric practice of school popular music that favors middle-classness and Whiteness. I suggest that moving towards genuinely multivocal and democratic music education entails questioning popular music as an eminent democracy maker. Alternatively, democracy might be fostered by considering the intersectional identities of the students––a process for which systems reflexivity serves as a useful tool.