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Title: Contemporary indie and the construction of identity : discursive representations of indie, gendered subjectivities and the interconnections between indie music and popular fashion in the UK
Author: Lifter, Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 1081
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis presents a historicized account of the construction of identity within contemporary indie. Indie emerged as a music scene in the early 1980s, and existing scholarly accounts of it focus on practices of music production and consumption. Indie has expanded and diversified over the last 30 years, however. Crucially, in the UK it has become increasingly interconnected into popular fashion – a development that has transformed indie from being a space solely for the construction of masculine identities, as it was in the 1980s, into a space for the construction of both masculine and feminine identities. These transformations within indie have not been addressed, and one of the contributions of this research is to fill this gap. This thesis contributes to the field of youth cultural studies by providing new knowledge on the relationship between youth culture and popular fashion. Drawing on the Bourdieuian concept ‘field’, the thesis explores the relationship between the sub-field of indie music and the field of popular fashion in the UK, arguing that contemporary indie forms at the points of overlap between these two fields: where their value systems are mutually informative and where their value systems diverge. Drawing on Foucault’s concepts ‘discourse’ and ‘practices of the self’, this thesis explores the way in which this complex popular cultural formation creates a space for the construction of identities. Through an analysis of media representations, it considers the discursive constitution of indie, and through an analysis of participant observation and interviews, it explores the ways in which those people participating in this formation construct the self. The thesis contributes to the field of fashion studies in that it draws together these two methodologies into an examination of the construction of identity and, more specifically, gendered identities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fashion History & Theory ; Gender studies ; History of Music