Electronic Dance Music: From Deviant Subculture to Culture Industry explores the subculture’s emergence as a deviant subculture. This text analyzes how industry professionals, fans, and public officials helped usher in a new age of EDM, arguing that while the defining features of the subculture made it attractive, they also laid the foundations for outsiders to commodify the movement as a culture industry. Conner and Dickens explore the concept of “commodified resistance” as the mechanism by which the movement's politically dissident features were removed and its place as a multi-billion-dollar industry made possible. Ultimately, this text advocates the continued utility of the culture industry thesis through an empirical analysis of the EDM subculture.
Christopher T. Conner is non-tenure track teaching assistant professor of sociology at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
David R. Dickens was professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for thirty-eight years.
Chapter 1. Phase I: Beginnings (1980s–1995)
Chapter 2. Phase II: The Rise of the Rave Outlaw (1995–2009)
Chapter 3. Phase III: EDM as Culture Industry (2010–2022)
Appendix: The Rave Act
About the Authors
"This is a careful review of the rave scene and EDM culture as it has evolved over time. The authors should be commended for their astute sociological analysis, which should be helpful in college classrooms across the US."
"Making sense of and clearly mapping EDM’s key historical transitions, Conner and Dickens have filled in gaps of much-needed research in dance music literature. In fun and accessible prose, we get rich and textured analyses of interviews with fans, promoters, and DJs, documents from industry insiders, and media portrayals of the subculture. Without a doubt, this book will be central to dance music debates and discussions for years to come."
"Electronic Dance Music: From Deviant Subculture to Culture Industry pulsates with the raw, crackling energy of the subcultures this book engages. Offering a comprehensive investigation into the evolution of EDM subcultures in the United States and Europe, Christopher T. Conner and David R. Dickens expose EDM’s transition from a countercultural movement originating within Black and Latinx queer subcultures to the mainstream cultural industry fueling the economic and cultural transformation of cities. Beautifully researched and filled with colorful interviews from tastemakers within the EDM world, this book will not only become the definitive study of EDM culture; it will also make its mark as a canonical text for any student interested in the sociological study of culture, subcultures, and music."
"Electronic Dance Music: From Deviant Subculture to Culture Industry is a thorough and scholarly work. In a series of three chronological essays, Conner and Dickens detail a full picture of the electronic music story, including its influences, technological components, characters, successes, and troubles. The book examines some of the little reported nuances of the industry related to culture, from its marginalization to eventual popularization."