Authenticity in Latino music: Scenes of place

Kathryn Nowotny, Jennifer L. Fackler, Gianncarlo Muschi, Carol Vargas, Lindsey Wilson, Joseph A. Kotarba

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Traditional Latino music scenes are vibrant features of their respective communities. We use four interactionist concepts—the scene, idioculture, place, and authenticity—to examine musical experience as a symbolically meaningful social activity. Our basic research question is, How do members of the various Latino communities in Houston, Texas, use music to make sense of their selves and everyday life in a large metropolitan city? Further, we argue that members of traditional Latino music scenes use the narrative of authenticity primarily to validate their participation as a scene member. Authenticity is especially problematic in Latino music scenes that invoke potentially conflicting criteria of quality—particularly scenes that are populated by Anglos as well as Latinos. Through the use of ethnography we examine the established music scenes of conjunto, mariachi, salsa, and Latin jazz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMusic Sociology
Subtitle of host publicationExamining the Role of Music in Social Life
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781317255840
ISBN (Print)9781612053127
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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