Folk on Tyne : Tyneside culture and the second folk revival, 1950-1975

Murphy, Judith (2007) Folk on Tyne : Tyneside culture and the second folk revival, 1950-1975. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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This thesis explores the nature of the second folk revival in the North East of England. While there have been several major studies of the various national folk revivals during the 1950s, '60s and '70s, there is a paucity of scholarly accounts viewed through a regional lens. This study therefore builds on a common perception of North Eastern regional particularity to establish the ways in which the folk revival as experienced by its members within the region was distinct from that detailed in the literature on the wider (inter-)national folk scene. Using comparative examples drawn from the regional and international folk movements, the thesis contextualizes and differentiates the general trends within the second revival as a whole and its North Eastern manifestation. There are some evident discrepancies relating, for example, to levels of political involvement in the respective folk scenes but also broad similarities in chronological developments. These trends are explored through a number of themes, beginning with the weaving of a constructed regional folk-cultural identity out of a diversity of ethnic, local and occupational strands. Secondly, the common assumption that the North East is a region with a rare continuity of traditions is interrogated, alongside an acknowledgement that this was a time of rapid social change, mobility and dislocation from older cultural practices. The basic dichotomy of 'mediator' and `mediated' is questioned and found wanting, particularly in a region where young revivalists were rarely far — temporally, geographically or socially - from the source of their tradition. The ways in which the media represented and altered folk traditions, and how these representations were used to build regional consciousness is considered, as are the 1960s developments in heritage and tourism which saw vernacular culture taking on a much greater significance in the region's economy. Further, celebratory imagery is shown to have a long history in musical representations of the region, but with a contemporary focus on stoicism in the face of decline. Finally, the reasons behind the folklorists' imperative to locate the `authentic' are sought in relative degrees of alienation from contemporary society, resulting in a dissolution of the barriers between 'genuine' and 'invented' tradition.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: V100 History by period
V200 History by area
W300 Music
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
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Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 24 May 2010 09:16
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2022 08:45

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