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What Is Indie Rock?

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Abstract:

This article defines the music category "indie rock" not just as an aesthetic genre, but as a method of social differentiation as well as a marketing tool. Using Pierre Bourdieu's concept of "cultural capital," it draws a parallel between indie rock and high art, both of which depend upon a lack of popularity for their value, and require specialized knowledge to be fully appreciated. In its attempt to locate indie rock at the intersection of various artistic, social, and commercial phenomena, the article engages in detailed analysis of particular artists, songs, lyrics, websites, and reviews, from which it concludes that this relatively new genre is part of an old and familiar social structure.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0300776042000300972

Publication date: 2005-02-01

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