Digging in the Crates: Practices of Identity and Belonging in a Translocal Record Collecting Scene
Vályi, Gábor. 2010. Digging in the Crates: Practices of Identity and Belonging in a Translocal Record Collecting Scene. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]No full text available
Abstract or Description
This thesis is a multi-sited ethnographic study of the practices through which a sense of identity and belonging is produced and experienced in the crate digging scene, a hip hop related translocal record collecting collectivity.
Affective attachments are rarely theorised within popular music studies, and are largely neglected or taken for granted in empirical work. Whereas the emergence and prevalence of a sense of companionship and collective identity is less surprising in tightly-woven collectivities that frequently gather in public venues in a particular locality, it demands more of an explanation in spatially dispersed musical worlds, like the transnational crate digging scene, in which regular, locally based face-to-face interaction takes place in small friendly circles that consist of a handful of enthusiasts at most.
The thesis reworks earlier, more elusive definitions of the notion of scene – a shared cultural space in which a range of coexisting and interacting musical practices work towards producing a sense of community – in a way that is more specific both with regarding what kinds of practices – aesthetic, distinctive, and spatial – shall be taken into consideration in accounting for the sources of attachments in musical collectivities. Furthermore, through its empirical chapters it outlines and connects particular areas of inquiry – the collective cultivation of a certain form of musical appreciation, the performance of distinctive practices, the acquisition and passing on of scenic sensibilities and customs, the places of scenic practice, as well as a shared understanding of spatiality – in which the productive – work of these practices could be be more closely observed and understood.
Through a micro-sociological study of the collective practices organised around the consumption of second hand records, the thesis also engages with the sociocultural significance of the transforming technological regime of music consumption.