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Trapped Deep Beneath the Sewage: Representation of the University in Popular Music

Gossman, P and Illingworth, S (2017) Trapped Deep Beneath the Sewage: Representation of the University in Popular Music. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 5 (3). pp. 23-32. ISSN 2051-9788

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Abstract

This article reviews the lyrics of popular music in order to uncover how the ‘university’ is represented in this art form. The lyrics that feature university are coded into themes and these are discussed. The lyrics are initially coded to negative/positive/neutral, but group of more refined themes is also presented. The analysis reveals that whilst the university is still seen as a place of learning, the lyrics of these songs tend to present and represent the university in a negative light. The intention of this article is to promote debate into the way that the university is perceived by popular music songwriters, but also to demonstrate the importance of assessing the place of the university from outside of the (at times) myopic lens of higher educational research.

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