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Vers une redéfinition de la protest song ? Réflexions sur la chanson contestataire aux États-Unis : le cas de Bruce Springsteen et la reflective song.

Abstract : This work is a study of contemporary protest song in the USA through the songs and social and political activism of Bruce Springsteen. It contends that Springsteen has been able to reexamine American protest songs and frame a new genre under the umbrella of rock music by adapting his music to the social and political context of contemporary America. The thesis that I defend shows that the reason behind the commercial success of Springsteen can be explained by the fact that he has adopted several artistic strategies which have brought him an audience composed of dedicated fans who admire him. I argue that Springsteen adopts four main strategies: firstly, singing about ordinary people and reporting their daily hardships; secondly, composing somber songs that deal with the despair of blue collars and marginalized Americans; thirdly, adopting mimesis (imitation) which has a cathartic effect on Springsteen’s audience; and finally, getting involved in social and political activism. The thesis contends that Springsteen is among the top selling rock singers in the USA and several other countries thanks to these four strategies. Springsteen has reinvented protest song as a genre and has become a reference in a world where everything is co-opted including the very act of rebellion. I, therefore, suggest a new term, reflective songs, to describe the songs of Bruce Springsteen when they reflect on the condition of the socially excluded instead of protesting pointlessly. Springsteen’s reflective song is undoubtedly the most relevant artistic medium to shed light on the most deprived people of contemporary America. Perhaps, the reflective song of Bruce Springsteen will not change the world, but at least it gives people a reason to hope for a better future.
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Khaled Chouana. Vers une redéfinition de la protest song ? Réflexions sur la chanson contestataire aux États-Unis : le cas de Bruce Springsteen et la reflective song.. Littératures. Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018MON30005⟩. ⟨tel-01875273⟩

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