Popular music and the public sphere: the case of Portuguese music journalism - PhDData

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Popular music and the public sphere: the case of Portuguese music journalism

The thesis was published by Nunes, Pedro, in September 2022, University of Stirling.


Music journalism has been acknowledged as an important space of mediation between artists and consumers. Journalists and critics have played an historical role in the creation of discourse on popular music and are acknowledged by the music industry as an important referent in promotion strategies. Research on the subject has been mostly focused either on the relationship between music journalism and the wider music industry in which it operates or on its status as a field of cultural production. Little consideration has been given to the role played by music journalists in articulating popular music with wider political, social and cultural concerns. This thesis will examine the case-study of Portuguese popular music journalism. It will address its historical evolution and current status by taking into consideration some dimensions, namely, the wider institutional contexts that frame the status of music journalism and how they work upon it, the ideologies and values realised in journalistic discourse, the journalists’ relationship to the music industry (as represented by record labels/companies and concert promotion companies) and issues of interactivity with readers. The thesis will draw on theories of the public sphere and, to a lesser extent, on Bourdieu’s notions of field, capital and habitus to assess the possibilities for music journalism to create reasoned discourse on popular music and, therefore, contribute to wider debates on the public sphere of culture.

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