Movement, Practice, and a Musical Tradition between Mexico and the United States

in Volume 7 (2017): Issue 2 (Jun 2017)
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Current scholarly work on mobilities has focused largely on how practices of mobility produce space, place, and landscape through their enactment and representation. There has been significantly less attention to the study of how social practices move, that is, how socially recognized ways of doing are produced through mobility. Although the literature of various disciplines generally agrees that practices are on the move at different scales, the mobilities of practice have yet to be developed explicitly. This article contributes to this emerging area of research by examining the case of music making. Drawing on ethnographic research, it analyzes how son jarocho, a musical tradition from southeast Mexico, is currently diffused and re-created across communities of practitioners in the United States. In doing so, the processes of diffusion, reproduction, and transformation of social practice are dependent on, and reciprocally related to, the movement produced during performances.