Nicolas Tsimbidas - "Rebetiko and Hip-Hop: A Comparative Analysis on Subcultural Formation" - Hydra Rebetiko Conference - October 2005














Rebetiko and Hip-Hop: A Comparative Analysis on Subcultural Formation

by Nicolas Tsimbidas [Metropolitan University of London]


SUMMARY: The aim of this paper is to explore the structure of Rebetiko and Hip-Hop subcultures and the formation and construction of the identity of their members. Its theoretical base is the theory of sub-cultural identity as elaborated by the various schools that were involved in subcultural research (Chicago School, Birmingham School, etc).


The paper will examine and compare two subcultures from Greece, Rebetiko and Hip-Hop. It will therefore investigate the factors of the construction, the formation and the impact of the two subcultures in Greek society. More specifically, the present investigation as mentioned above attempts to compare the two groups in terms of identity construction, cultural production and sub-cultural formation. This involves both the analysis of what is produced by a sub-culture and the 'institutional supports' within which it is produced.


The main areas that I would like to concentrate on are those that deal with issues of identity. The issue of cultural fusion and the alteration in the patterns of cultural production has and will be addressed in the thesis. For this, Hybridity theories are of core value in examining the process of that cultural fusion that occurred in both Rembetiko and Hip Hop in Greece.


CV: I was born in Athens on 02.08.1975. In 1995 I came to England to study and I obtained a B.A in Media Studies and Cultural Studies and PgDip in Film and Cultural Studies from the University of Sunderland. Currently I am a PhD candidate at the London Metropolitan University.


I have also been working as a journalist and reporter since 1995, mostly in the Greek media, and for the past 3 years I have worked as foreign correspondent for Greek National Radio in London.


I heard the Rebetiko sound at quite a young age because of my father was an avid fan of Tsitsanis and Vamvakaris. The sound of bouzouki is something I remember distinctly in my childhood, as my father would play Rebetiko records very often in our house.


Finally, in my PhD I decided to combine my love of music with my great academic interest in collective identity issues.





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