Introduction: The Politics of Diversity in Music Education

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Kallio, Alexis
Marsh, Kathryn
Westerlund, Heidi
Karlsen, Sidsel
Saether, Eva
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Kallio, Alexis

Westerlund, Heidi

Karlsen, Sidsel

Marsh, Kathryn

Saether, Eva

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The Politics of Diversity in Music Education attends to the political structures and processes that frame and produce understandings of diversity in and through music education. Recent surges in nationalist, fundamentalist, protectionist, and separatist tendencies highlight the imperative for music education to extend beyond nominal policy agendas to critically consider the ways in which understandings about society are upheld or unsettled and the ways in which knowledge about diversity is produced. This chapter provides an overview of the scholarly foundations that this book builds upon before introducing the four sections of the book and contributing chapters. The first section of the book focuses on the politics of inquiry in music education research. The second section attends to the paradoxes and challenges that arise as music teachers negotiate cultural identity and tradition within the political frames and ideals of the nation state. The third section considers diversities that are often overlooked or silenced, and the final section turns to matters of leadership in higher music education as an inherently political and ethical undertaking. Together, chapters work towards a more critical, complex, and nuanced understanding of the ways in which the politics of diversity shape our ideals of what music education is, and what it is for.

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The Politics of Diversity in Music Education

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© The Author(s) 2021. This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.

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Music education

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Kallio, A; Marsh, K; Westerlund, H; Karlsen, S; Saether, E, Introduction: The Politics of Diversity in Music Education, The Politics of Diversity in Music Education, 2021, pp. 1-11