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Repeat-The-Beat: Industries, Genres and Citizenships in dance Music Magazines

Newman, Christy (1997) Repeat-The-Beat: Industries, Genres and Citizenships in dance Music Magazines. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis examines a particular cultural object: dance music magazines. It explores the co-imbrication of the magazines with dance music and considers how a reconfiguration of the field of genre theory can help to dismantle the generic separations of ‘textual’ and ‘industrial’ approaches to cultural objects. The main argument of the thesis is as follows.

The magazine industries produce an object of cultural exchange which is made commercially viable through a narrowing of its target audiences. These audiences arise in the space created by the dance music industries’ negotiation of an imagined contest between 'underground' authenticity and 'mainstream' productivity. In turn, dance music magazines produce a powerfully exclusive space for the communication networks of the dance music genre by capitalising on the desire to stabilise genre and therefore taking up generic instability as a positive youth marketing strategy.

According to this position, genre is thought of as that which schematises the ordinary cultural operation of making decisions. The ethics of genre means that each generic judgment or decision is a moment of enacting opinion, and thus of participating within the negotiation of community. With respect to dance music in particular, its ethics is set up as a response to (what are perceived as) deliberate misunderstandings in the traditional media and is energetically taken up through dance music journalism's defensive celebration of the ephemeral and negotiated performativity of the (personal and collective) rave.

Each of the chapters of this thesis was designed to approach dance music magazines from a different angle: the first as ‘industries’; the last as ‘citizenships’; and between these a bridging overview of ‘genres’. In order to undertake a thorough investigation, both the industries which produce, and the citizenships which use, a cultural object must be considered. These approaches are immediately complementary: citizenships participate in the regulation of genre through negotiating the ordering of generic rules; and those rules impact upon and are simultaneously ordered through the operation of industries.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you
Supervisor(s): Mchoul, Alec
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