Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/61243
Type: Thesis
Title: The symbolic consumption of subcultures: an ethnographic study of the Australian hip hop culture.
Author: Arthur, Damien Mark
Issue Date: 2010
School/Discipline: Business School
Abstract: This thesis examines the symbolic consumption practices of a subculture of consumption. The aim of this research was to use a grounded approach to examine the intersection between individuals' consumer identity projects and their participation and identification within a marketplace culture. The emergent theory is grounded in data collected from a four-year ethnography of the Australian Hip Hop culture. The methods used to triangulate the data comprised of prolonged participant observation, researcher introspection, semi-structured in-depth interviews, non-participant netnography and a progressive reading of the literature. Analysis of the data revealed a glocalised, countercultural male enclave where members overcame race and claimed authenticity. Two types of subcultural capital emerged from the data as being determinants of status within the subculture of consumption: an individual’s embodied subcultural capital and subculture-specific social capital. These determinants contrast with the more commonplace assertion that subcultural status is determined by an individual’s level of subcultural commitment. As such, this study advances our understanding of status conferral within marketplace cultures, and provides a valuable insight to marketing researchers and practitioners. In addition, the structure of the Australian Hip Hop culture was more fluid, contested and negotiated than those presented in previous studies, and as such, an alternative framework for assessing the structure of consumption-oriented subcultures is proposed. Finally, the findings of this study advance our understanding of the evolving nature of symbolic consumption within a consumption-oriented subculture. In doing so, this study contributes to the body of knowledge that examines subcultural production, sacred consumption, and the expression of authenticity, masculinity and countercultural values as individuals develop their consumer identity projects.
Advisor: Quester, Pascale Genevieve
Medlin, Christopher John
Burgan, Barry John
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, Business School, 2010
Subject: Hip-hop Australia
Popular culture Economic aspects Australia.
Social marketing Australia.
Keywords: hip-hop; subculture; ethnography; symbolic consumption; subcultural capital
Provenance: Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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