Buddhism in the Changing Society of Thailand: From Buddhist Chant to Hip-hop

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Though Pierre Bourdieu himself devoted little attention to the study of religion, this paper examines key features of his sociology of culture in light of their potential contribution to the sociology of religion and music. In places such as Burma, China, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and North America, Buddhist music comprises a variety of monastic and non-monastic music genres, including those performed by professional musicians and Buddhist groups. With particular reference to Buddhism, this paper intends to explore how Buddhism and diverse musical practices, ranging from chant to hip-hop, were introduced in the changing society of Thailand. It is now common to find some young Thai monks combine traditional Buddhist chants with hip-hop, rap, and rock beats that captivate young listeners who listen online, often through mobile phones and other online media. Finally, this paper discusses the wider implications of the power relationships of Buddhism in modern music in the changing cultural and social spheres in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.


ConferenceInternational Conference on Rapid Religious Cultural Change 2020
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