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Durham University



Publication details for Dr Samuel Horlor

Horlor, Samuel (2019). Permeable Frames: Intersections of the Performance, the Everyday, and the Ethical in Chinese Street Singing. Ethnomusicology Forum 28(1): 3-25.

Author(s) from Durham


Amateur performances of pop classics take place daily in various public spots in Wuhan, China. Audience members reward singers with cash tips; these practices are bound up in personal relationships established as the two parties socialise at and away from the events. Building on Goffmanian notions of frame shifting, I explore how performance, everyday, and ethical realms of experience intersect during these occasions. Boundaries between performance and everyday frames are indistinct in a physical sense and in how participants relate to each other. This in turn feeds into the integration of the performances in participants’ ethical lives. Rather than a shifting between these three frames, I see mutual permeability as the basis for the sociality here.