Collaborating to Compete: The Role of Cultural Intermediaries in Hypercompetition

Musgrave, G. 2017. Collaborating to Compete: The Role of Cultural Intermediaries in Hypercompetition. International Journal of Music Business Research. 6 (2), pp. 41-68.

TitleCollaborating to Compete: The Role of Cultural Intermediaries in Hypercompetition
AuthorsMusgrave, G.
Abstract

This article explores the role that cultural intermediaries, defined primarily as radio DJs and journalists, play in the lives of three unsigned UK urban music artists. Using semi-structured interviews, textual analysis of social media usage, and observation notes, as well as auto-ethnographic examination of the author's own career as a musician over a four-year period between 2010-13, it is suggested that intermediaries are of crucial importance in the lives of artists largely as distinguishers in an environment of ferocious competition, which anonymises via abundance. Their role is therefore deeply symbolic, providing credible eminence. By interpreting these findings through a Bourdieusian lens, it is suggested that these collaborative processes of intermediary engagement, which allow musicians to acquire large reserves of institutionalised cultural capital, problematise notions of success by masking the profound difficulties they have in converting this prestige into material rewards. There is therefore, for these musicians, a worrying ambiguity relating to how others understand and value what they do, and a tension between this perception and their material reality.

Keywordspopular music, cultural intermediaries, autoethnography, competition, Bourdieu
JournalInternational Journal of Music Business Research
Journal citation6 (2), pp. 41-68
ISSN2227-5789
Year2017
PublisherInternational Music Business Research Association
Publisher's versionMusgrave 2017 Collaborating to Compete.pdf
Web address (URL)https://musicbusinessresearch.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/volume-6-no-2-october-2017-musgrave.pdf
Publication dates
Published26 Oct 2017

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