Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Sociology
Sociologists have made many contributions to the current understanding of markets. In spite of these contributions, individuals and market practices in sociology are generally overlooked, but both are important because individuals and their practices give markets their form. By overlooking market practices, sociologists disregard two of the most important forces within markets, distribution and marketing. These oversights significantly reduce our ability to understand how modern economic markets operate. Thus, the focus of this study is centered on market actions of independent hip-hop music artists and consumers of hip-hop music especially in regards to music distribution technology. Data was collected via in-depth interviews with producers (artists) of hip-hop music and hip-hop music consumers. Results suggest that there are two primary ways in which digital distribution affects the behavior of those who make up the two sides of the market. First, digital distribution increases the quantity of consumer participation within the market by altering the risks linked to acquiring/accessing music and by improving the consumer's ability to help market music. Second, it improves independent artists' ability to involve consumers in the complex process of producing and marketing their music in essence allowing consumers to become co-producers and co-marketers of an artists and his or her music. The study presents a multiplicity of contributions to economic sociology, the sociology of markets, the sociology of consumers and consumption, hip-hop music studies, and begins what I call the sociology of marketing and distribution.
Pikes, Ronald, "Reconceptualizing Markets: Hip- Hop Artists, Marketing, Distribution, and Consumers" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 444.