Northern Soul is a cultural phenomenon twice removed from its original source in Britain in the late 1960s. Rooted in gospel and rhythm and blues music, with pounding “four-to-the floor” beats, it is often accompanied by swirling strings, vibraphone flourishes, and infectious clapping. Since the 1960s Northern Soul has spread globally, via the Internet and migration, to such unlikely places as Medellin in Colombia. By giving voice to the members of this scene, this book explores theories about how identity and cultural literacy evolve through engagement with popular culture. It seeks to contribute to understandings about patterns of economic and media consumption, informal learning, intercultural communication, and about how migrants perceive themselves and form connections with others.
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About the Author
Paul Mercieca is a lecturer in the School of Education at Curtin University in Western Australia, where he coordinates postgraduate programs in applied linguistics. He has worked in the UK, Egypt, Oman, Australia, and Vietnam, and completed doctoral research into migrant subcultures in 2010. Currently, he is the executive editor of the English Australia Journal.
Anne Chapman is Winthrop Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Western Australia. She is the director of transnational programs and coordinates and teaches units in the school’s postgraduate programs.
Marnie O’Neill is a professor of education in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Western Australia, where she served as dean and head of school for five years. She was also the inaugural director of teaching for pre-service teacher education and joint coordinator of the Doctor of Education program.
Table of Contents
1 There was a time: Soul music in popular culture
2 That driving beat: Northern Soul (NS)
3 The In Crowd: Northern Soul people in Perth
4 Breakaway: British migrants in Western Australia
5 At the discotheque: The clubs in Perth
6 Out on the floor: The cultural practices of the scene
7 Thinking about you: Some theoretical implications of research into NS in WA
8 Long after tonight is all over: The future of NS in Perth
1 Informant Northern Soul timelines
2 Sample interview transcript
3 Northern Soul night field notes sample
Northern Soul (NS) Glossary
About the Authors
What People are Saying About This
. . . shows the practical roles played by various forms of cultural literacy in orienting how subjects identify with, navigate through, and utilize different cultural categories, genres, spaces, and sites.
Their book explores in detail how music, memory, and place combine and recombine to make this music meaningful again in another new home, adding another vital piece of the jigsaw to our understanding of popular music culture.
[This book] brings into clear relief ways that soul music has traveled and continues to travel dynamically across international borders. This book significantly extends the expanding research on Northern Soul and the power and efficacy of African American musical aesthetics and cultural products.