people at the graduate school of creative arts and media
susan gill: dit, school of media, research scholar (strand I)
Susan Gill completed a B.A (hons) in Anthropology at D.B.S. in 2006. She obtained a First Class Honour for her undergraduate thesis entitled “Modern Primitivism: Investigating Three Of Its Most Cited Motivations” which tested the foundations of academic theories of Modern Primitivism by engaging in participant-observation based research among members of the Modern Primitive sub-culture in Dublin. She then obtained a H.Dip at NUI Maynooth in The Anthropology of Ireland in European and Global Context in 2007, and completed a research based M.A in Anthropology, also at NUI Maynooth in 2008. Her M.A thesis, “Irish Women and Romantic Love: Feeling, Perception and Construction” examined how middle-class Irish women understood and constructed the concept of romantic love, with reference to Ireland’s current socio-economic climate and the impact of Irish feminism.
The techno-social landscape of popular music production, distribution and consumption has altered in recent years with more and more artists choosing to operate outside of the major record industry. Traditionally the 'Do-It-Yourself' or DIY model of music production has been associated with genres such as punk, post-punk and indie, however it is becoming a popular option for artists of all genres, and this increase in the autonomous production of music sees the possibility of DIY becoming normative practice. This research proposes the relevancy of immaterial labour (Lazzarato 1997, Hardt and Negri 2000) to understanding the type of subject operating within contemporary DIY music activities. The notion of immaterial labour proposes that the type of labour employed in producing the informational, cultural and creative input of commodities and services has become hegemonic in dominant capitalist countries. It is argued by Hardt and Negri, that immaterial labour, produces social networks, forms of community and biopower, in which agents act as an interface between various labouring activities. The socio-economic existence of these agents is characterised by precariousness, hyper-exploitation and mobility, whilst simultaneously produced by the struggle against such. Critics of Hardt and Negri (Henwood 2003, Dyer-Witherford and de Peuter 2005) note the lack of systemic research into this phenomenon, and it is the aim of this study to address this deficit with reference to contemporary modes of music production. In doing this, the networks created by and through DIY music activity, the community in which these labouring practices are conducted, and the channels through which the social lives of DIY music participants are controlled, are investigated as features of immaterial labour. Methodologically qualitative, this triangulated study is conducted via focus groups, in-depth interviews and participant-observation with various DIY practitioners, ranging from musicians and record labels, to promoters and consumers.
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