Nationhood, identity and subcultures: A case study of the Norwegian rap duo Karpe | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 2 Number 1
  • ISSN: 2632-6825
  • E-ISSN: 2632-6833

Abstract

In this article, I explore processes of identity formation among ethnic minorities in Norway. By performing a close reading of the lyrics of seven songs written by the rap duo Karpe, I show how the group use their music to make apparent the adverse consequences of absolutist understandings of national belonging on their own subjectivities. Through their lyrics, Karpe send a clear message to their audiences: the definition of what it means to be Norwegian needs to be extended, and new ways of belonging ought to be normalized, so that ethnic minorities can embrace their multicultural backgrounds without fearing this will compromise their perceived belonging to the national community. Karpe’s incredible success among the Norwegian public, as it enables them to carry ideas of political significance across groups, makes the analysis of their music of mainstream interest. By using rap lyrics as an object of analysis, I also highlight the function of cultural expression as a means to resist and rethink hegemonic discourses of fixed national identities – and even act as a vehicle for the development of post-national patterns of identification.

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC), which allows users to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the article, as long as the author is attributed and the article is not used for commercial purposes. To view a copy of the licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
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2021-06-01
2024-04-14
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