My paper reflects on the integration, by the 1980’s French punk rock band Bérurier Noir, of international sociopolitical references (both historical and contemporary, such as the plight of the American Indians, the Vietnamese War, or the Palestinian uprising). This foray into multiculturalism can be understood as a countermeasure against the rise of chauvinistic discourses (most notably from the Front National), but also as a means to transcend the ambient drabness of the local “cités” (housing projects). But how can this so-called “Folklore de la zone mondiale” (Folklore of the World Slums) be understood in the broader context of the global society that, at the same moment, was redefining itself? For if encouraging a dialogue between different cultures, through a federating form of music, constituted a valid approach towards instilling a climate of solidarity and respect in the French “banlieues” (suburbs), amalgamating disparate cultural references through the melting pot of rock’n’roll can also be seen as a diverted way of submitting them to Western hegemony. My paper therefore revolves around the following question: does punk (and alternative) rock music represent, as it claims, a vector of social progress and diversity, or does it result, on the contrary, in an implicit assimilation of cultural differences? My reflection on this topic is guided by the works of political and cultural essayist Philippe Muray, who has given thought to this alleged absence of social and intellectual dialectics in contemporary France, a phenomenon to which he refers – from a Hegelian perspective – as an “End of History”.
|Keywords:||Bérurier Noir (1983-1989), 1980’s French Punk and Alternative Rock, Internationalist Sociopolitical Discourse, Antiracism, Intercultural Dialogue, Globalization, Implicit Cultural Assimilation, “End of History” (Absence of Social Dialectics)|
Assistant Professor, Études françaises (French Department), Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada
There are currently no reviews of this product.Write a Review