University of Tasmania
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Capitalizing on community music : a case study of the manifestation of social capital in a community choir

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posted on 2023-05-26, 18:15 authored by Langston, Thomas W
This study examines the manifestation of social capital in a Community Choir and explores the links between community music, and the generation and use of social capital in community settings. Whilst there is an extensive literature on social capital and its generation and use in communities, little is known about the ways in which social capital is manifested in community music settings. The literature identifies social capital through the presence of 'indicators' such as 'trust', 'community and civic involvement',and 'networks'. This study sought to identify those indicators of social capital that are present in a Community Choir in regional Tasmania. There is considerable debate in the literature as to what constitutes 'community music'. In this study, I distinguish between two forms of community music: Community Music (CM), characterised by professional intervention in community settings; and. Music in the Community (MiC), characterised by music-making that arises from 'grass-roots' activity in and by the community. Whilst both forms of community music can generate social capital, in this study I suggest that the social capital generated by MiC is more sustainable. This qualitative, interpretive case study employs multiple data generation methods including surveys, field notes, and semi-structured interviews. Narrative analysis of data from a Quartet of choir members is employed to construct individual stories of engagement within the choir, and participation in the generation and use of social capital. An analysis of narrative approach is used to interrogate data from the main body of the Community Choir, {Tutti), and to identify those social capital indicators present in the Community Choir. Through analysis of the data, it is evident that the social capital indicators identified in the literature, specifically those of shared norms and values,trust, civic and community involvement, networks, knowledge resources, and, contact with families and friends, are present in the Community Choir. Further, a previously unemphasized social capital indicator that of Fellowship, is identified as a key component in group cohesion and social capital development within the Community Choir. A key element in the generation of social capital in the choir is the identification of a 'new' form of community, a community of common histories. I suggest that the identification of such communities has significance for understanding why individuals participate in community groups, and how social capital and groups develop. The literature suggests that those who participate in community activities keep their minds and bodies active, live longer, and maintain health and well-being more effectively. The study of MiC activities such as the Community Choir holds potential to inform policy development and community practice in relation to Australia's aging population.


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Copyright 2005 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s) Thesis (EdD.)--University of Tasmania, 2005. Includes bibliographical references

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