Home in the making: place, body and music in migratory practices of movement

Sheehy, Kerri-Anne R. (2012) Home in the making: place, body and music in migratory practices of movement. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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This thesis brings an exploration of place to music and migration as embodied practices. It draws on over twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork in a major regional inland city, which has seen increased migration in recent years owing to a policy of regional settlement. The focus on forging links between place and body in musical and migratory movement contributes to theoretical understandings of home and movement. I argue that place is not anywhere but is wherever place is sensed. In accordance with this study’s explicit concern with movement, a multi-sited strategy is employed. Data were gathered through a series of ethnographic conversations reflecting on music with individual migrants from many different cultural, social, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds and a choir of migrant and non-migrant women ‘singing songs from around the world’.

The thesis employs specific phenomenological theorists of embodiment to explore music and migration through lenses of sensuous embodied movement. In line with recent critiques of practice concepts in anthropology, it makes use of applications of phenomenology to understandings of practice, highlighting the usefulness of such lenses, specifically for situations where habitual movement is disrupted. In addition, anthropological conceptions of landscape assist in grounding, in music, practices of movement between places, and aid in grasping the relationships between place, movement, memory and hybridity.

The analyses centre on these migrants’ linkages between music and life through ‘the beat’. I discuss how ‘the beat’, for these migrants, is a metaphor connecting place and body, and is metonymic of movement, particularly in relation to the character of movement between social bodies and between social bodies and places. I explore the significance of the pervasive sounding of ‘the beat’ in musical events and activities as well as its verbal association with therapeutic practices of music among these migrants and the choir. Music is how these migrants’ hope and how they cope with the problems and opportunities of everyday life. ‘The beat’ is a gendered metaphor for natural, social and culturally patterned sound, suggesting relationships between place and memory through the common perception that ‘the beat’ links social bodies. Practices of music and embodied migratory movement involve managing expectations of naturalised relationships between social bodies and places. This involves strategic practices of generating physical capital for the migrant body through managing physiological processes linked to sensuous embodied emotion.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis. Access to this thesis permenently restricted at author's request.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Apr 2011 - 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Apr 2011 - 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Barker, Bryce; Johnson, Laurie
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2013 02:34
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2016 02:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: place; embodiment; emotion; habit; migratory movement; music phenomenology; practice
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160803 Race and Ethnic Relations
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200206 Globalisation and Culture
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441013 Sociology of migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4702 Cultural studies > 470210 Globalisation and culture
36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3603 Music > 360306 Musicology and ethnomusicology
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24017

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