In the crowd : an examination into the construction of identity and community among independent music fans in Berlin

by Henning Kjølgård

Institution: University of Oslo
Year: 1000
Keywords: VDP::250
Record ID: 1288573
Full text PDF: https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/16714


This thesis examines the construction and maintenance of identity and community among indie music fans in Berlin. Indie, an abbreviation of independent, is a term that has come to signify not only an alleged refusal to participate in a music industry dominated by multinational corporations but also a complex of ethics and aesthetics from an exile cultural stance. Employing the concept of scene, which draws on both Bourdieu s (1984) idea of field and Becker s (1982) idea of art worlds, the aim is to give an understanding of the social world of indie fans in Berlin. Credibility will be seen as the subcultural capital (Thornton 1995) of the indie scene, which gives indie scene members the ability to discern differential status levels among themselves and to establish boundaries between themselves and other social groups. I argue that the indie scene in Berlin can be seen as an intersection of global flows and local circumstances. The translocal properties of music and its associated stylistic innovations serve to produce affective alliances that cross geographical boundaries, and the role of different types of media, not just as representational practice but also as mediations into the scene will be examined. Further, authenticity is a central discursive trope among indie fans, and through an analysis of the construction of an indie canon, two modes of authenticity will be outlined; Romanticism and Modernism. These two modes of authenticity will be used to discern and understand a central difference and opposition between two central institutions of the scene. And the processes of hierarchization taking place inside both institutions will be closely examined.