The aesthetics of dissent : cultural opposition and the independent musician

Kean, Robert Wilfred (2002) The aesthetics of dissent : cultural opposition and the independent musician. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The aim of this research is to explore the possibility that independent musicianship constitutes a form of cultural opposition to capitalist hegemony. The analysis which follows attempts to chart a course between two competing theoretical perspectives on modern popular culture: critical theory, according to which popular culture is a medium of capitalist manipulation of credulous masses, and the Birmingham School of cultural studies, which emphasizes the creative potential inherent in cultural consumption. Twenty-four local musicians took part in semi-structured interviews focusing on their evaluations of different kinds of music, the creative and business- related choices they make in bringing their songs to listening audiences, and the values they hold as musicians working outside the creative parameters set by the major-label record industry. The interview data supply compelling evidence that respondents’ artistic sensibilities, and indeed their entire self-understanding as independent musicians, is informed by a critical awareness of the commodity production of culture, and as well a clear desire to resist the aesthetic standardization of music.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1434
Item ID: 1434
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 149-150
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: 2002
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Musicians--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Dissenters, Artistic--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John' s; Alternative rock music--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's

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