Author

Miles Read

Date of Award

2014

First Advisor

Kathryn Boswell

Second Advisor

Sue Lyon

Abstract

What I’ve hoped to provide here are two snapshots of how the dimension of the cultural might exist in post-industrial America. The history of marketing and communications gives us an image of the birth of a machine that attempted to sculpt a singular narrative for an increasingly de-industrialized, middle class America. The formalization of the field of marketing into a theoretical framework is a moment where capital evolved in response to having a new consumptive class, a key moment in what is now called cultural capitalism. The failure of this singular cultural narrative to become something universal is represented in the development of House. Arising from places like Detroit and Chicago where de-industrialization caused massive economic stagnation, and from those whose identities fell outside the lines of American marketing’s hetero-normative and racially biased cultural narrative, House gives us an understanding of an organic and materially lived cultural formation that is both of post-industrial America and entirely outside of it. Using the abandoned warehouses left behind by industrialism and appropriating the music produced by the culture industry into their own form of expression, the moment of house provides us with an image of the cultural on a local and communal level.

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