Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Turkish Roman (Gypsy) Music as World Music: Musical Mediations between Places of Belonging and Spaces of Globalization

Dr Sonia Tamar Seeman.

Recent anthropological and ethnomusicological discussions of globalization have incorporated considerations of space as a social category that includes issues of unequal distributions of power, institutional control and economic systems. On the other hand, phenomenologically-grounded studies assert the primacy of place over space as a universal of human experience. From these discussions, place can be seen as both a condition of being and the locus by which social being is conditioned. These explorations have been heightened in light of discussions of space in terms of globalization processes —a transformed world of interconnected economies, greater flow of goods, people and an enlarged cultural. Recent writings in anthropology have shifted from the view of globalization as a totalizing cultural phenomonon, to an increasingly nuanced understanding of the cultural responses of local communities. This paper suggests it is possible to examine cultural phenomena in this transformed, “globalized” world through mediating a phenomenological sense of place with a critical analysis of space.
I mediate these positions through a "thick resistance" exploration of several recording events of Roman (Gypsy) musicians, observed in Turkey during 1995-1999. Following Paul Ricoeur’s understanding of metaphoricity, this presentation will examine the ways in which musical meaning derives from the intersections of local categories of “world music”, marketing of ethnic and national representations, and expressions of belonging. This paper in turn proposes that a cultural understanding of the effects of globalization needs to take into account local responses, thus suggesting a path by which we can mediate “place” and “space”


Dr Sonia Tamar Seeman  (United States)

  • Globalization
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Sociological space
  • Place of belonging
  • Phenomenological hermeneutics
  • Roma (Gypsy) music

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)