Understanding Inequalities in Music: The Case of Ethnic Minorities in the Hong Kong Popular Music Industries

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    Globally, awareness of and critical reflexivity about inequalities related to ethnicity, class, gender, age, and ability in the music industries are rising. Scholarship and policy work have highlighted the need to assess how these inequalities are constructed and their consequences for different populations, particularly outside of Euro/Anglo-centric music industries. In Hong Kong S.A.R. (HK), while scholarship and policy work increasingly pay attention to the place of ethnic minorities (EM) in the cultural life of the city, no study has yet focused on all non-Chinese EM music practitioners as active participants in the city’s popular music industries. This project fills this gap and analyzes how different EM music practitioners – comprising musicians, as well as other individuals involved in the production and distribution of music in HK – potentially experience and mediate social, cultural economic and spatial inequalities to understand the terms and contributions of EM musical work across the HK popular music industries. Taking the cue from recent research on the significance of artistic activity by EMs in HK, academic work on inequality in music, and research on cultural infrastructures, this project asks: What are the inequalities faced by different EMs in the HK popular music industries, and when, how and why do they impact their careers? How are these inequalities co-constituted or alleviated by other aspects of EMs lives, including (but not limited to) gender, class, education, and age? How do EMs, using existing public, private and digital infrastructures, respond to their needs and mediate these inequalities? Using quantitative and qualitative methods, the research team will a) map and analyze the careers of different EM groups and individuals, and the current local hard and soft cultural popular music infrastructural landscape commonly used by EMs music practices; b) curate and organize an exhibition/performance for select underrepresented EM music practitioners to perform/present their works; c) use the data gathered through surveys, interviews and the exhibition/performance to produce academic articles and a report aimed at being a resource for potential policy planning and funding allocation under the HK government’s leadership. By gathering and analyzing data about EM in the HK music industries for the first time, the proposed project seeks to provide novel theorization of the concept of inequalities in the music industries outside of Western creative cities, and to increase HK society’s awareness and appreciation of EM music practitioners contribution to the HK musical landscape.
    StatusNot started
    Effective start/end date1/01/2531/12/27


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