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"I'm not sure how much this was about music:" Networks, Locations and Rituals of Identity in Pittsburgh's Grassroots Music and Arts Scene

McDowell, Amy Denise (2009) "I'm not sure how much this was about music:" Networks, Locations and Rituals of Identity in Pittsburgh's Grassroots Music and Arts Scene. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Scenes are dynamic social relationships and experiences that are comprised of networks, locations, and rituals. Scene networks form in recognizable meeting places around activities such as live music shows, bike collectives, drag performances and gambling rings. This paper explores how cultural producers (i.e. band members, DJs, event organizers) perceive and use networks, locations and rituals in Pittsburgh's grassroots music and arts scene. Whereas previous research examines th experience of a single scene, this study explores the many ways cultural producers activate a variety of scenes under the same umbrella. This study examines how predominately white scene networks perceive and benefit from gentrification while also attending to how gender and sexuality affect where scene events are held. Women and queer identified artists do not have the same options as their heterosexual male counterparts when it comes to creating scene events in places opened by urban revitalization projects. This study also demonstrates that the rituals cultural producers engage are particular to the identities they seek to enact. Cultural producers use rituals of identity to deconstruct hegemonic constructions of gender and sexuality. Through performance rituals, participants empower stigmatized social identities.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
McDowell, Amy Deniseadm60@pitt.eduADM60
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBlee, Kathleen Mkblee@pitt.eduKBLEE
Committee MemberHashimoto, Akikoahash@pitt.eduAHASH
Committee MemberGould, Deborah Bdgould@pitt.eduDGOULD
Date: 14 January 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 7 November 2008
Approval Date: 14 January 2009
Submission Date: 11 December 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: DIY; gentrification; girl bands; punk; subculture; urban development
Other ID:, etd-12112008-103210
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:10
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


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