The Row, the Street, and the Hood: Competing Imaginaries in the Nashville Music Scene
Richard Lloyd, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt, addresses the quasi-institutional nature of specific places as they contribute to cultural outcomes. In the case of Nashville, he focuses on Music Row, Lower Broadway and East Nashville as organizing spaces for distinctive modes of cultural production. All are real places, and all are invested with symbolic import. Music Row is the seat of “mainstream” country music and the embattled corporate center of “the industry;” Lower Broad is a major tourist attraction and recent beachhead for downtown redevelopment, while also ferrying a neo-traditionalist ethos of grit, immediacy and authenticity; East Nashville is the emergent center of Nashville’s Americana or “insurgent country” scene, characterized by a proliferation of independent studio spaces and DIY production strategies. Relying on the ethnographic strategies of interview and participant observation, Lloyd examines both the intersections and the oppositions contained in these divergent styles and strategies, bearing on broader themes in the sociology of culture including: the nature career trajectories, cultural commodification, standards of authenticity, modes of collaboration, and the social impact of new technologies.
Current Working Papers:
- “On the Barstools of Giants: Place, Aura and Cultural Production” Presented at the ESA Network on the Arts, University of Luneberg, Germany, March 2007; The Artist and the City Mini-Conference, Dutch Royal Academy of the Arts, Amsterdam, May 2006.
- “Consumer Cosmopolitanism and the Cultural Proletariat” Presented at Harvard University, March 2007.
- “The Row, the Street, and the Hood: Competing Imaginaries in the Nashville Music Scene”