Popular music, social capital and the consolidation of public space in post-communist Romania

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Dragoş Dragoman
Sabina-Adina Luca
Bogdan Gheorghiţă
Annamária Kádár

Abstract

Creating a public space as a space of freedom, dialogue and trust, is one of the last challenges that post-communist transition in Romania faces today. This task is important because public space is merely a political space, meaning that people engaging in this space express the willingness to defend and pursue collective interests, to cooperate by the developing political resources, and to influence the political system. Although those issues are generally addressed by the means of surveys, we chose, instead, to study a widespread popular music genre called ‘manele’. Since critical discourse analysis (CDA) has successfully demonstrated that discourse is always connected with elements of various social processes, we use it here in order to fully understand ‘manele’ as a suitable vehicle carrying images and symbols to generate a particular narrative. Far from being specific to a marginal subculture, ‘manele’ are a social sign that offers compelling insights into the social world we live in. Thus, the social environment unveiled by ‘manele’ proves to be dominated by distrust, apathy and disengagement. The gloomy social environment labeled by ‘manele’ as a ‘mean world’, dominated by deep social distrust and uncertainty, largely encourages specific defensive reactions, as pervasive corruption, free-riding, social intolerance and violence, in a postcommunist society making efforts to rebuild social ties and to consolidate democracy following decades of totalitarian rule.

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Author Biographies

Dragoş Dragoman, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu

Department of Political Science, International Relations and Security Studies

Address: 34 Dumbrăvii Road, Sibiu, Sibiu County, Romania.

E-mail: dragos.dragoman@ulbsibiu.ro

Sabina-Adina Luca, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu

Address: 34 Dumbrăvii Road, Sibiu, Sibiu County, Romania.

E-mail: sabina.luca@ulbsibiu.ro

Bogdan Gheorghiţă, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu

Address: 34 Dumbrăvii Road, Sibiu, Sibiu County, Romania.

E-mail: bogdan.gheorghita@ulbsibiu.ro

Annamária Kádár, Babeș-Bolyai University

Address: 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street, 400084, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj County, Romania.

E-mail: annamaria.kadar@ubbcluj.ro

How to Cite
Dragoman, D., Luca, S.-A., Gheorghiţă, B., & Kádár, A. (2012). Popular music, social capital and the consolidation of public space in post-communist Romania. Sociologie Românească, 10(2), 113-133. Retrieved from http://revistasociologieromaneasca.ro/sr/article/view/2012_2_dragomir

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