Tips for Starting Your Subcultures Research Project

Some suggestions for beginning your research:

  • Start looking for scholarly research in the library databases. What is the history of this subculture and its music? What are the key debates in the field? Engage in conversation with scholars as a PEER. Is your experience aligned with, or in contrast to, authors publishing about this culture (or somewhere in between)?
  • Watch, listen, talk to fans, read. Listen some more. Take lots of notes, screen shots, recordings.
  • Look for PATTERNS, themes
  • Organize your notes and observations around themes. Building block for thesis.
  • Aim to narrow your project to a SPECIFIC PLACE, TIME, COMMUNITY.
  • How does this culture define itself? What is cool? Who participates? Who isn’t welcomed, or isn’t present? What draws community together?
  • Follow the money: who makes profit from this? Who doesn’t? Who owns the venues? How are artists paid? What is the financial status of fans, how are they invested in the culture, how do they pay to participate?