Matthew Wheelock Stahl Humanities
Independent Cultual Production vs. the Culture Industry: Performance of Self and Creation of Value in an Eddy of the Mainstream
Using a combination of participant-observation and interview methods, Matt will study a local subculture of “indie” rock musicians, in order to theorize this marginal subculture’s relationship to the mainstream music industry. A community “insider” as both a performer and producer, Matt will be in an excellent position to analyze the community’s unique features and to determine the extent to which it may be pioneering a new type of relationship to the mass culture industry. Matt’s Senior Honors Thesis in Mass Communications will situate the data he collects in the field in the context of the theoretical debates now raging in the fields of cultural studies regarding the relationship between local and mainstream cultural production. In addition, Matt will be producing a photographically illustrated oral history that will document and give voice to this vibrant, creative community.