Unity through uniqueness : the subcultural capital of music blogs
Recent scholarship on subcultural theory has cultivated an idea of subcultural capital around common signifiers. Points of departure within subcultures have been seen as deviations or potential threats to subcultural cohesion. In this report, I use a mixed-method approach to examine the way subcultural capital is created within the digital subculture of music blogs. Focusing on North American independent rock music blogs, I use a qualitative approach to examine their aesthetic choices, and descriptive analysis informed by quantitative techniques to examine content decisions. Through these methods, I demonstrate that in this particular subculture, member uniqueness is not a factor to be glossed over or explained away. It is not a threat to subcultural unity. Rather, for this subculture at least, member uniqueness is a necessary condition for participation within the subculture. At different locations within their websites, music blogs utilize signifiers that both unite them with, and distinguish them from, others in the subculture.