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Title: Marketing and consumption of popular music : the case of New Model Army
Author: O'Reilly, Daragh
ISNI:       0000 0004 2681 5283
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2008
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English rock band New Model Army has survived for nearly thirty years without a conventional marketing strategy or mass media support, and for much of that time without major record label support. This inquiry set out to explore the reasons for the durability of this independent band. The study required an engagement with a range of literatures from marketing, consumer studies, popular music studies and cultural studies. The key notions of "circuit of culture" and "text" were adapted to help guide the inquiry, and combined with social identity theory and branding theory. A broadly ethnographic approach, harnessed to a combination of social constructionist, hermeneutico-semiotic and discourse-analytical perspectives was used for the study. A range of data collection methods was used, including participant observation, interviews with band and fans, and photography. In three empirical chapters, data on three sites of cultural production and consumption site are presented: cyberspace, museum spaces and gig spaces. The chapters deal with, respectively, the construction of the New Model Army "Family" as a framing interpretative resource for the band-fan community; the curation by the band of an exhibition of its art and artefacts in order to create a Family heritage; and the importance of live performances as Family "gatherings". Data analysis helps to show how the band and fans together construct the musical project that is New Model Army, while also pointing to some underlying tensions and how these are managed by the band and fans., The implications of these findings are then drawn out for the conceptualisation of tribes and brand communities, and the marketing and branding of popular music groups. The combination of circuit of culture, text, and social identity theory with detailed empirical evidence offers a thickly descriptive and analytical answer to the question about the durability of New Model Army's appeal. This thesis also contributes to the development of theory in the areas of arts marketing, arts branding, cultural studies and popular music studies.
Supervisor: Doherty, Kathy ; Yates, Simeon ; Critcher, Chas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available