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  • The Status of Relationships

    George Musgrave, Sally Anne Gross

    Chapter from the book: Musgrave G. & Gross S. 2020. Can Music Make You Sick?: Measuring the Price of Musical Ambition.


    By exploring the convergence and distortions of private and public space brought about by social media, this chapter explains how these have served to amplify the impacts of having musical ambition. Such tensions resulting present specific challenges to all social relations, especially family and close personal relationships. Tensions between musicians and those closest to them – their friends, partners and family – further extend out into musical communities against a background of intensified competition and existing inequalities. Ultimately, it is proposed that economic relationships are personal and social relationships, and there is an impact this comes to have on musicians. The ‘fantasy of participation’ conflated with the myth of meritocracy that is so central to a musical ambition has a visibly polarising and insidious impact, especially on female musicians working in the UK music industries, which the final section explores. The chapter emphasises the psychic and affective dimension of ‘the status of relationships’ in order to better understand the particularly high levels of anxiety and depression reported by female respondents to the authors’ earlier survey.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Musgrave G. & Gross S. 2020. The Status of Relationships. In: Musgrave G. & Gross S, Can Music Make You Sick?. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book43.e

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Additional Information

    Published on Sept. 29, 2020