Breakcore: Identity and Interaction on Peer-To-Peer (Hardcover)
Peer-to-peer music exchange, sampling, and digital distribution have garnered much attention in recent years, notably in debates about authorship, intellectual property, media control, and 'Web 2'. However, empirical scholarship on how these technologies are used creatively by musicians and fans is still sparse. In this interdisciplinary ethnography of 'bedroom producer' culture, Andrew Whelan examines interaction and exchange within a specific online milieu: peer-to-peer chatrooms dedicated to electronic music, focusing on a genre known as 'breakcore'. The author draws on semantic anthropology, ethnomethodology, sociolinguistics, and critical musicology to explore the activity afforded by this controversial and criminalised environment. Through in-depth analysis of often ritually vituperative text-based interaction, discussions of music, and the samples used in that music, Whelan describes the cultural politics and aesthetics of bedroom producer identity, highlighting the roles gender and ethnicity play in the constitution of subcultural authenticity. Empirically driven throughout, this book also engages with a spectrum of social theory; in doing so, it highlights the intersections between gender, interaction, technology and music. This book will prove valuable for students and scholars with interests in gender and language use, computer-mediated communication, online subcultures and virtual community, and the evolution, production and distribution of electronic music.
Andrew Whelan teaches in the Sociology program at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He was educated at Ruskin College and Somerville College, Oxford, and at Trinity College, Dublin. His research interests include the linguistic and discursive performance of identity, contemporary musical subcultures, gender and masculinities, ethnomethodology, and internet research methods.