New Thinking in Political Economy series
Edited by Emily Chamlee-Wright and Virgil Henry Storr
Chapter 8: Rock Me Like a Hurricane! How Music Communities Promote Social Capital Adept for Recovery
8. Rock me like a hurricane!: how music communities promote social capital adept for recovery Daniel J. D’Amico INTRODUCTION 8.1 When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans it affected much more than the buildings, homes, and infrastructure of the city. While the physical damage was obvious, it was more difficult to determine how the storm and flooding would affect the city’s diverse array of social networks. In particular many feared the death of the city’s cultural identity – a critical draw for the New Orleans’ tourist industry. Even if New Orleans did rebuild, would it be the same New Orleans that it once was? While many recovery proposals have correctly noticed that New Orleans’ culture is critical to its tourism, its tourism is critical to its economic prosperity, and an obvious link exists between New Orleans’ culture and its local wealth, such proposals have also suggested top-down policy solutions to plan the process of cultural renewal. This chapter investigates how music communities have engaged in rebound and recovery from the bottom up by deploying social capital resources embedded within their networks. I focus in particular on the Garage Rock and New Orleans’ Jazz music communities. I define music communities as the sub-cultural social networks that surround groups of musicians and fans.1 As will be discussed below, some of these communities were particularly adept at post-hurricane recovery. By analysing the strategies deployed by members of specific music communities, this chapter highlights the importance of social capital in the process of disaster recovery. This...
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