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Rap and Mizoued Music: Claiming a Space for Dissent and Protest in Post-Arab Spring Tunisia

Version 2 2024-06-03, 18:26
Version 1 2019-12-17, 03:45
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 18:26 authored by Dr Zouhir GabsiDr Zouhir Gabsi
The Arab Spring in Tunisia has brought with it positive changes, such as freedom of expression and democracy. However, Tunisians have found that these applauded achievements have not improved their living conditions. After Ben Ali was ousted in 2010, the decline of Tunisia’s economy was exacerbated by internal and external factors such as global recession, a dysfunctional liberal economy, internal political infighting, and corruption. To ventilate their frustration and dismay with the government and the overall socio-economic situation in Tunisia, some Tunisians turn to the music of rap and Mizoued in search for a new space where there is solace and escapism. Mizoued music and rap deal with core issues about the living conditions in Tunisia, such as ḥarga (border jumping, clandestine migration). Most rappers and Mzēwdiyye (Mizoued players) represent the houma (neighbourhood), and it is their connection with frustrated youths and struggling Tunisians that influenced these two genres to merge and gain popularity in their shared history of marginalization. The purpose of this article is twofold. First, it analyses the points of convergence and divergence of these two genres in terms of themes and authenticity. Second, it discusses how rap and Mizoued discourses use the notion of ‘space’ in the development of the artists’ trajectories and narratives in three domains: cultural, political, and sociological. Within these domains, Bourdieu’s social concepts of habitus, cultural capital, and field throw light on how ‘taste’, power’, and ‘class’ are exercised in the three domains.

History

Journal

Sociological Research Online

Volume

25

Article number

ARTN 1360780419898494

Pagination

626-643

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1360-7804

eISSN

1360-7804

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

4

Publisher

SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD