The Imagined Community of «True People»: Social Construction of the Rebetiko Musical Genre
This article aims to show how the rebetiko musical genre is constructed in relation to modern social issues in contemporary Athens. I address the history of rebetiko perception throughout the 20th century, and how it is re-interpreted by the contemporary performers of this musical genre. In so doing, the article discovers how the concepts which surround the understanding of rebetiko as communist music, as urban marginal music or as a symbol of the Greek nation, are used in the construction of so-called «true» people – an imagined community of contemporary performers and listeners of rebetiko. The article argues that this reorientation of community around rebetiko represents an example of Greek national identity construction in a time of economic crisis.
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