Music and Post-Communist Subjectivities in Cuba
Rubén López Cano
Fundamental to any study of juvenile cultural practices is how they influence young people’s subjectivity, especially in the process of becoming citizens. Music is, naturally, an important factor in determining how youngsters position themselves regarding the national projects and hegemonic discourses of those governing them. Two key functions of music in the construction of subjectivity are, on the one hand, representing subjects, fictional characters, roles, and social agents—on occasion making visible subjects ignored in other types of discourse, and on the other, configuring points of view, opinions, and positions that orient the way young people see themselves and the world around them.
Throughout the revolutionary process in Cuba, music has been instrumental in shaping citizens’ subjectivities as described above. In this essay I will summarily review the ways in which the primary hegemonic subject of the Cuban Revolution has been articulated and disarticulated in popular music over the last fifty years. This official subjectivity, historically embodied chiefly in youth, has given way to the diverse juvenile subjectivities expressed in different musical genres that proliferate among young Cubans today.
López-Cano, Rubén. 2014. "Music and Post-Communist Subjectivities in Cuba". En Pablo Vila (ed.). Music andYouth Culture in Latin America. Identity Construction Processes from New York to Buenos Aires. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 132-155.