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Alternative Media: Commodification and the Vexing Coordinates of Alterity

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Alternative Media: Commodification and the Vexing Coordinates of Alterity

Lewis, Cyrus (2012) Alternative Media: Commodification and the Vexing Coordinates of Alterity. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The deleterious effects of commodification on media content, particularly of an oppositional or politically committed nature, that is, media often classified under the rubric “alternative,” is well documented. This thesis attempts to wrestle with this puzzle and to unpack some of alternative media’s more curious attributes; i.e., the frustrating truth that alterity is a relational phenomenon, more sensitive to the vagaries and caprices of the market than its desire for autonomy would indicate; the profound fact that it is not so “alternative” as it seems to presuppose, as evidenced in its periodic reinvigoration of the markets of “popular culture;” and the intriguing point that its aspirations, more often than not, appear to cohere with mass culture’s lionization of individuality. At the heart of this paradox is a yearning for that nebulous characteristic of “authenticity.” That narratives of authenticity attend most instantiations of alterity and alternative media is no accident. But authenticity itself is as bound up with the ascension of capitalist modernity and the liberal public sphere as are notions of alterity. By examining alterity, with an eye on its cognate of authenticity, it is possible to highlight some of alternative media’s immanent contradictions.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Lewis, Cyrus
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:April 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Chapman, Owen
Keywords:Alternative Media, commodification, alterity, tactical media, commodity fetishism, authenticity, popular culture, capitalism, oppositional culture, oppositional art, culture industry, individualism, knowledge economy, culture jamming, hegemony
ID Code:974011
Deposited By:CYRUS LEWIS
Deposited On:19 Jun 2012 15:14
Last Modified:15 Nov 2012 16:01
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