The journal Music and Arts in Action (MAiA) emerges from international, cross-disciplinary work that takes a wider, holistic approach in researching the dynamic role of music and the arts in social life and cultural experience. Cutting-edge work in this area considers how aesthetic experiences and artistic forms are unconsciously, semi-consciously and actively used by individuals and groups to structure social relations, situations, environments and action. Simply put, how, when and where do music and art do something, how do music and art matter?
MAiA is a peer-reviewed Open Access journal published by the SocArts Research Group and the Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology of the University of Exeter (United Kingdom).
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The analysis of resistance and resilience in the articles in this special volume of Music and Arts in Action illustrates the complexity of the terms, their definitional ambiguities and situated tensions when they are used in conflict contexts. Rigorous debates have underlined the contested nature of the terms resistance and resilience, whereby resistance is considered a means of destabilising interpersonal and state hegemony and resilience is variously seen as an individual strategy for survival and wellbeing or an intervention impacting upon socio-economic structures. Theoretical discord further highlights the need for careful and detailed ethnographic investigation. Thus, while it might be tempting to avoid the terms altogether as some critics argue, close, critical ethnographic reading of the particularities of sonic atmospheres, as well as their corresponding musical and performative dynamics can render productive the relationship between resistance and resilience as contributors to this volume show. Thus, rather than jettison these terms we encouraged our contributors, (the majority of whose research is based in protracted conflict contexts), to take up the challenge of examining their application through vernacular understandings in order to demonstrate how individuals embody, mobilise and strategise their effects in the sounds and performances of everyday life.