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Networks of value in electronic music: SoundCloud, London, and the importance of place

Allington, Daniel; Dueck, Byron; Jordanous, Anna

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Authors

Daniel Allington

Byron Dueck

Anna Jordanous



Abstract

© 2015 Taylor & Francis. While recent debate has often focused on a reified “cultural value” (whether opposed to or aligned with monetary value), this article treats “value” as a verb and investigates the acts of valuing in which people engage. Through ethnographic research in London's electronic music scene and social network analysis of the SoundCloud audio sharing website (which is dominated by electronic dance music and, to a lesser extent, hip hop), it uncovers substantial patterns of geographical inequality. London is found at the very centre of a network of valuing relationships, in which New York and Los Angeles occupy the next most privileged locations, followed by Berlin, Paris, and Chicago. Cities outside Western Europe and the Anglophone world tend to occupy peripheral positions in the network. This finding suggests that location plays a major role in the circulation of value, even when we might expect that role to have been curtailed by an ostensibly “placeless” medium for the distribution and valuing of music. While there are reasons for the metropolitan emplacedness of dance music – given the importance of the relationship between production, consumption, and live DJing – the privileging of particular cities also mirrors patterns of inequality in the wider cultural economy. That London should appear so supremely privileged reflects both the exporting strength of British creative industries and the imbalanced nature of the UK's cultural economy.

Citation

Allington, D., Dueck, B., & Jordanous, A. (2015). Networks of value in electronic music: SoundCloud, London, and the importance of place. Cultural Trends, 24(3), 211-222. https://doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2015.1066073

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 1, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Jan 19, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 20, 2016
Journal Cultural Trends
Print ISSN 0954-8963
Electronic ISSN 1469-3690
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 3
Pages 211-222
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2015.1066073
Keywords cultural value, electronic dance music, ethnography, social network analysis
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/831512
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2015.1066073

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