Dancehall: it's simultaneously a source of raucous energy in the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, a way of life for a group of professional artists and music professionals, and a force of both stability and turbulence within the community. As Anne Galvin reveals in Sounds of the Citizens, the rhythms of dancehall music reverberate in complicated ways throughout the lives of countless Jamaicans.
Galvin highlights the unique partnerships between the dancehall industry and community development efforts. As the central role of the state in supporting communities has diminished, the rise of private efforts such as those of the people and organizations involved in dancehall becomes all the more crucial. The tension, however, between the supposed "haves" involved in the industry and the "have-nots" within the neighborhoods is palpable and often dangerous. Amidst all this, individual Jamaicans interact with the larger industry to find their own paths of employment, social identity, and sexual mores.
As Sounds of the Citizens illustrates, the world of entertainment in Jamaica is serious business and uniquely positioned as a powerful force within the community.
Sounds of the Citizens: Dancehall and Community in Jamaica