Exploring Karaoke anxiety

Is karaoke a passing fad? Kevin Brown PhD. Associate Professor of Theatre History, Theory, Criticism, Performance Studies, New Media, Non-Western Theatre, and Popular Culture at the University of Missouri, US. believes not. For his doctoral dissertation, he conducted a two-year ethnographic study of karaoke in America, a portion of which is: ‘Liveness Anxiety: Karaoke and the Performance of Class‘, and is published in the current issue Vol. 1, Issue 2, of Popular Entertainment Studies.

“It is very tempting to dismiss karaoke as a passing fad.”

explains the professor.

“It is even more tempting to dismiss karaoke as a gimmick, a technological crutch that gives untalented people a false hope of celebrity.”

But karaoke is far more than this -for studies undertaken in Springfield, Colorado, and elsewhere revealed that –

“It challenges the hegemonic forces of the status quo by breaking down the rules under which cultural production is understood to take place. Karaoke breaks down preconceived binarisms: it challenges notions of ‘high’ versus ‘low’ art, ‘live’ versus ‘mediatised’ performance, and ‘amateur’ versus ‘professional’ artists.”

Underlining the idea that karaoke is not simply a fad.

“It is not going away any time soon. It is, in fact, a multi billion dollar industry that continues to grow every year. I predict that we will see this trend continue.”

Also see from the same author:
The Auslander Test: Or, ‘Of Bots and Humans‘ in the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media,
and:”Spectacle as Resistance: Performing Tree Ordination in Thailand” in the Journal of Religion and Theatre,
Also of note:
Daisuke Inoue of Hyogo, Japan, won the 2004  Ig Nobel Peace Prize for his invention of karaoke.