CHAPTER 5

Music Media Uses and Influences

Following on from the broad divisions drawn in Chapter 3 between mediated and co-present youth music practices of promenade performances, this chapter will focus on the former and Chapter 7 will examine the latter. There are three reasons why I have chosen to distinguish mediated from co-present music practices. First, the distinction between these sets of practices is qualitatively defined by the specific contexts in which music is consumed and produced. Thornton's(1995) distinction between mass, micro and niche media as resources for subcultural capital may be insightful textual analysis but it ultimately ignores how such resources are experienced within the contexts of club cultures. As Phil Jackson rightly observes, 'you can pick up most of what Thornton defines as “subcultural capital” from the clubbing media without ever learning how to really party' (2004: 96). Second, these two sets of music practices provide a framework for probing into important thematic issues about the relationship between young people's private/domestic and public consumer lives. And third, content analysis of thematically coded interview transcripts and field notes found that instances of mediated and co-present music practices were divided reasonably equally in number. Therefore, to afford equal weight to either set of practices by discussing them in distinct chapters appears to be a valid strategy for writing as well as reading ethnographic research (see Hammersley 1990), not least because this avoids overemphasising one over the other.1 Despite the adequacy of this distinction it should be stressed that the two sets of practices are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, uses of music media frequently occur in public places, and public music consumption and production is almost always mediated in some form. As this research unfolds, the synchronicity between mediated and co-present practices will be shown to be as significant to contemporary youth music cultures as their separability.

In this chapter I will describe and explain how music media are used and become influential in various everyday contexts. I will differentiate

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