Voices of Resistance in Dancehall: Exploring the meaning of violence and defining the legacies of colonialism in Post-Independence Jamaica

Jeppe Østerholt Jensen, Jeppe Damkilde Schmidt & Stefania Kromydaki

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This thesis treats the subject of a music genre, Dancehall, and examines its genesis with regards to various socio-political processes in colonial and post-independent Jamaica. By applying discourse analysis on various popular Dancehall lyrics, we endeavour to locate specific recurring patterns, or themes, which indicate that Dancehall, or at least a part of the Dancehall culture, is strongly associated with revolutionary meanings which aim to criticise the past and current socio-political order in Jamaica, and to create a strong black identity by rejecting the Western influences. By using a postcolonial theoretical framework we argue that the specific lyrics express a will and a potential for resistance, and a means for the discursively silenced Jamaican people to voice their issues and frustration. Subsequently, we provide a philosophical analysis on the concept of violence, with the purpose of understanding what has been long criticised in the Dancehall lyrics, the concept of explicit violence.

UddannelserKultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato17 dec. 2012
VejledereZoran Lee Pecic


  • Dancehall
  • Discourse
  • University
  • Postcolonial
  • culture
  • Kvale
  • Postcolonialism
  • Jamaica
  • lyrics
  • Roskilde