Place, People, and Pentecostal Habitus

Muir, Pauline E.. 2023. Place, People, and Pentecostal Habitus. In: Monique Charles and Mary W. Gani, eds. Black British Music in the 21st Century. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, pp. 105-118. ISBN 9781802078404 [Book Section]

No full text available
[img] Text
07 Muir.pdf - Published Version
Permissions: Administrator Access Only

Download (130kB)

Abstract or Description

Black Majority Churches (BMCs) in the UK are the environments in which Black British gospel musics are developed and nurtured. These spaces signified by their oralities can provide for the ambitious young male, an unparalleled musical learning environment. Whilst these churches are often characterised and caricatured in the media by smiling, clapping, robbed black bodies swaying in time accompanied by soaring vocals, rhythmic syncopations and flashy altered chords, little is known about the learning that takes place in these environs. Since the early 80s, singers and musicians from BMC have been in high demand in the UK popular music industry for their skills and technical proficiency. The experience of learning and playing in the demanding praise and worship environment of a BMC dictates that musicians and singers are flexible, artistically nimble and able to respond to the sensitive exigencies of a pneumatological Pentecostal moment. Using semi-structured interview material with professional musicians who learnt their craft in BMCs and are now working with well-established pop artists, I argue that BMC environments and their associated social arenas are regulated spaces that constitute a Bourdieusian field of cultural production with its own ‘rules of the game’, power struggles and internal and external relationships that enable some people to gain cultural capital that can be exchanged for economic capital. Using a conceptual framework of place, people and Pentecostal habitus, I establish that BMCs are critical sites of musical development that result in a linkage of the attributes from a local gospel music into a global secular music arena.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


November 2022Accepted
15 March 2023Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Dec 2022 17:30

Last Modified:

15 Mar 2023 20:27


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)