Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Communication

Committee Chair

John Baldwin


The growing popularity of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) on nearly every continent has given rise to the transition of EDM music from underground raves to large scale, multiple-day music festivals. Attendance at EDM events, whether at concerts or festivals, is primarily dominated by today's youth generation. The number of youth attending these events continues to grow as elements of EDM are being mixed into other mainstream music genres. This increase in the popularity of EDM has been an area of research interest in the past decades for a variety of disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, marketing, and tourism. The present study takes a communication approach to analyze the youth culture associated with EDM. In-depth one-on-one informant interviews of EDMC members (18-25 years of age), have been analyzed through thematic analysis in effort to unveil how the appropriation of commodities found at EDM events are used to communicate alternative, individual EDMC identities as well as a collective identity shared by attendees of EDM events. In addition, this study has attempted to expand upon the postmodernist perspectives of EDMC (Blackman, 2005;

Bennett, 1999; Hesmondhalgh, 2005) by analyzing how members of EDMC use cultural artifacts to maintain their identifications with the scene within their daily lives.

Keywords: youth culture, electronic dance music, identity, lifestyle, neo-tribe


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