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On The Dynamics of DJ Subcultures: Simulations of Northern Soul and House Music Genres.

Roach, Alan. (2008) On The Dynamics of DJ Subcultures: Simulations of Northern Soul and House Music Genres. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Why does the popularity of different music genres change over time? How are new music styles developed and how do they gain mainstream status? This thesis addressed these questions with a social simulation to explore the relationship between music subcultures and genres. This used a version of the 'history friendly' approach: two case studies were qualitatively analysed and these results formalised into two simulations, the outputs of these were then compared back against the original case studies. This method enabled the models to be validated at the micro and macro levels. The case studies are the Northern Soul and House music genres and subcultures. These DJ based subcultures were analysed using secondary data describing their histories, collected using a systematic review technique. The Northern Soul scene was chosen as it has a simple history of a rise and fall in the popularity of the scene and involved listening to old records not producing new ones. The analysis identified four stages in this history: gestation, growth, spurt and decline. The House scene has a more complicated history as members produced new records. The scene grew in a similar way to Northern Soul, but after the spurt phase fragmented and split into new subgenres such as Ambient and Progressive House. This fragmentation process continued with new genres being developed, one of which was Jungle. The thesis used a complexity theory framework to identify local 'bottom up' rules of interaction between agents. From the qualitative analysis a theory of subcultural dynamics was derived. The main points of this argue that agents gain subcultural capital from participating in a scene, which is related to a taste area, and that agents prefer to associate with those of similar levels of subcultural capital and distinguish themselves, using their tastes, from those of higher or lower levels. The model was a formalisation of this theory and produced the same dynamics of the popularity of both scenes at the micro and macro level and it was concluded that they provide evidence that these rules could explain the changes in popularity observed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Roach, Alan.
Date : 2008
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2008.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 14:37
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 14:41
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856264

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