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Institutionalizing Authenticity in the Digitized World of Music

Frontiers of Creative Industries: Exploring Structural and Categorical Dynamics

ISBN: 978-1-78743-774-6, eISBN: 978-1-78743-773-9

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 3 April 2018


Since the arrival of mass production, commodification has been plaguing markets – none more so than that for music. By separating production and consumption in space and time, commodification challenges the very conditions underlying economic exchange. This chapter explores authenticity as the institutional response to the commodification of music, rekindling the relationship between isolated market participants in the increasingly digitized world of music. Building upon the “Production of Culture” perspective, we unpack the commodification of music across five different institutional realms – (1) production, (2) consumption, (3) selection, (4) appropriation, and (5) classification – and provide a thoroughly relational account of authenticity as an institutional practice.




We would like to thank Candace Jones, Erik Aadland, Konrad Boehmer, Gino Cattani, Simone Ferriani, Michael Mauskapf, Damon Phillips, and the participants at the 2016 Creative Industries Conference in Edinburgh for their helpful comments and suggestions. A special thanks goes to Massimo Maoret, whose constructive feedback was especially instrumental for further developing the chapter. The usual disclaimer applies.


Askin, N. and Mol, J. (2018), "Institutionalizing Authenticity in the Digitized World of Music", Jones, C. and Maoret, M. (Ed.) Frontiers of Creative Industries: Exploring Structural and Categorical Dynamics (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 55), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 159-202.



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