Notating indie culture: aesthetics of authenticity

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Klassen, Aaron Joshua
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Authenticity is a notion which carries considerable sociological weight in that it is used to determine cultural boundaries on one hand, and behavioural conduct in the individual on the other. Its idealization influences the formation of music cultures such as indie and punk, identifiable in the discourse of performers, cultural gatekeepers and music fans. This thesis follows the ways in which these actors pursue notions of authenticity by noting discursive constructions of culturally specific values, and the effects that this pursuit has upon music culture. Using social constructionist theory, I engage in discourse analysis of referents produced by three sets of actors: 1) musicians; 2) those who idealize notions of authenticity in various media, or gatekeepers; and 3) music fans. Arguably, through processes of claims-making, these actors discursively challenge or establish values relative to specific cultures and music, effectively defining social and aesthetic boundaries.
Sociology, Cultural Studies