Paradoxical identity struggles and work practices of “indie” musicians

Charlotte Louise Gilmore, Nic Beech, Paul Charles Hibbert, Gail Jane Greig, Elizabeth Anne Gulledge

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    We explore the identity work and struggles intrinsic to the working practices of independent (indie) musicians . Their creative project-based, collaborative work entails a number of struggles such as the classic ‘commerce versus art’ dialectic. The identity work literature holds that struggles operate as teleological, transient processes (often based on the opposition between self-expression and ‘market forces’) that are resolved in some sense of coherent identity. However, our research indicates that this way of conceiving identity struggles does not have universal explanatory capacity. Part of the professional indie musician identity is to both desire the struggle and wish not to be in it. The struggles we identify are not transitory but can be regarded as paradoxical and perpetual; if the musicians ever ‘resolved’ their struggles they would lose their indie musician identity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventEGOS - Helsinki, Finland
    Duration: 4 Jul 20127 Jul 2012




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