Assembling Club Cultures: Disc Jockeys as Cultural Intermediaries

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School of Business | Doctoral thesis (monograph)
Degree programme
Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 209/2019
Cultural intermediaries have been considered as influential agents capable of influencing consumption practices. Existing research on cultural intermediaries draws extensively on works of Pierre Bourdieu to conceptualize cultural intermediaries as well as to provide a theoretical planform through which to analyze cultural intermediary practices. Empirical works drawing on Bourdieu tend to depict cultural intermediaries as a static category; as agents standing and intermediating between realms of culture and consumption. Recently, assemblage theorizing has gained traction within the cultural intermediary academic dialog as a contending approach seeking to provide a more dynamic view pertinent to cultural intermediary practices. In this dissertation, I draw on the latter to depict a dynamic view of cultural intermediary practices. This dissertation is based on an ethnographic study of the underground electronic music club scene in Helsinki, Finland. Data comprising this research comprises of field notes, in-depth interviews, photographs and netnographic data. The ethnographic endeavor lasted for about 3 years. This dissertation contributes to cultural intermediary academic dialogue in a number of ways. First, I seek to go beyond the notion of regimes of mediation and portray a picture of cultural intermediary work as a dynamic process belonging to a number of nested sets of assemblages. Secondly, I bring forth material agency as an important element in mediating how music is consumed and musical styles are qualified. And lastly, by depicting the process of assembling club cultures, I show how such a process fosters a sonic consumer subjectivity.
Supervising professor
Arnould, Eric, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Marketing, Finland
Thesis advisor
Arnould, Eric, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Marketing, Finland
Schouten, John, Prof., Memorial University Newfoundland, Canada
assemblage, cultural intermediaries, ethnography, sonic
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