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Title:Exploring a theory and ethic of hospitality through an instrumental case study of a middle school band room
Author(s):Sullivan, Brian Michael
Director of Research:Barrett, Janet R
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Barrett, Janet R
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Higgins, Christopher; Nichols, Jeananne; Kruse, Adam
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):music education
hospitality
philosophy
ethics
middle school band
case study
Abstract:In this study I explore and develop a theory and ethic of hospitality through an instrumental case study of a middle school band program. I begin by presenting a poststructural view of hospitality founded primarily in the work of Jacques Derrida who maintained that, “Hospitality is not simply some region of ethics. It is ethicity itself, the whole and the principle of ethics” (1999, p. 50). Hospitality occurs as a host responds to or welcomes a guest who seeks entry into the host’s home. There is a great deal of explanatory power within the hospitable exchange due to its metaphoric and ethical coherence with other interactions at all levels of culture and society, including those that occur within music classrooms. The best welcome is one that leads to the growth and flourishing of both host and guest, and a deeper understanding of their shared agency within the structures and spaces that shape their interaction. Music teachers do not welcome students into an actual home, but into robust and evolving forms of musical practice—such as school wind band. Practice is defined herein as a social activity that leads to the growth and flourishing of its practitioners as they collectively strive towards excellence in the unique outcomes of that activity (Higgins, 2011; 2012; MacIntyre, 2007). Practices are more than idle pastimes; they are a primary means through which human beings develop an understanding of what leads to a good life. Music teachers are thus ethical agents tasked with negotiating the norms of their chosen practice in order to ensure that all students have opportunity to grow and flourish in the way that only their practice allows. Hospitality offers ethical and pedagogic insight into the problems and potentials of such practices. I utilize the terms and affordances of hospitality as the epistemological, methodological, and analytic frameworks for a case study of the Eastside Middle School band program (EMS) (a pseudonym). I spent 33 days across the spring semester of 2016 getting to know the students and teachers at EMS. Data were generated through participant observation during classes and events, individual interviews with 31 students and all three teachers, focus groups with students and teachers, and by gathering key elements of material culture. Key insights include the complexity of structural forces that influence daily life, the wide ranging goods to which students gained access through participation, the intersectional nature of how students are welcomed into and through the program, and the disconnect between the stated ends of the practice and the goods and ends that were realized in students’ daily lives. I conclude that hospitality should be thought of not only as a poststructural ethic that privileges an unconditional welcome of the unknowable guest, but also as a tripartite Aristotelian virtue. The virtue of hospitality charts a middle way between a welcome that requires complete assimilation of the guest to the norms of the space, and a welcome that is so open that the structure of the practice itself dissolves and denies the guest access to the unique goods that only this practice could provide. Finally I utilize findings from the case study to suggest a pedagogy of hospitality for music education.
Issue Date:2017-04-19
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/97371
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Brian M. Sullivan
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05


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