Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. John B. Nash


Within this dissertation I focused on the examination of local activist musicians’ self-leadership strategies and the method in which they lead social change movements. Additionally, I sought to increase the understanding of charismatic leadership, self-leadership strategies of local activist musicians, and the method in which local activist musicians lead social movements. To my knowledge, no published studies have explored local activist musicians’ self-leadership strategies. Therefore, this study is significant because I (a) explored a term which lacks a unifying definition, charismatic leadership, (b) provided theoretical foundations for activist musicians and social change, and (c) explored the self-leadership strategies of local activist musicians and the method in which activist musicians share knowledge in order to foster positive community change.

A proposition offered in the dissertation is that activist musicians use their musical competencies to enhance their social change strategies within the local community. However, it is unclear what self-leadership strategies are being utilized by local activist musicians in order to reach collective action and achieve social and political change. A self-developed framework, the Framework for Activist Musicians (FAM), portrays how an activist musician utilizes their social experiences, behaviors, and influence to enact social change. The framework delineates how a musician utilizes their music making involvement and status to enhance their charisma and authenticity as an activist to establish social change.

The findings in this dissertation indicate the importance of one’s music making experiences and status as a musician in fostering social change initiatives in addition to his or her self-leadership strategies. The findings display the methods in which local activist musicians share knowledge were instrumental in their ability to encourage others, mobilize people, recruit members, and share knowledge in social change movements and how the unique qualities of an individual who is a musician and activist are well-prepared to be an influential community leader.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)