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In L’Industrie musicale à l'aube du XXIème siècle. Approches critiques, pp. 167-199
(invited author)
Editors: Jacob T. Matthews, Lucien Perticoz
Paris: L'Harmattan, 2012

 

Abstract

The disparities and the ambivalence of the music industries are the focus of this paper where the recording industry is considered a part of a larger system within the socio-economic formation. Taking into account the facets of the production of culture, the intention is not to examine a sector in its particularity, but a system revealing the contradictions of the socio-economic formation. Hence, the micro-level is seen through a societal perspective.

In the first part, the notion of a single music industry is challenged based on relevant arguments developed over the past decades (especially by Williamson and Cloonan). The functions of this notion when used in the public sphere, are briefly explained and it is outlined a far more complicated and contradictory system of music industries, adding to the existing literature and discussion. Considering the realities of the production and circulation of music, relevant research, and the uses of the notion of a single industry, the paper insists on a more relevant model for understanding this field of cultural production.

In the second part, the complexities, the contradictions and the ambivalence of the music industries are discussed examining the flows of content carriers, music hardware and musical resources. Disparities on a micro-level are also discussed and the failure of the cultural industries for the least favoured countries and artists is outlined. The paper holds that the disparities and the ambivalence of the music industries, depict a much more complicated field compared to any simplistic understanding of the cultural imperialism thesis. The perspective employed is also found incompatible with the ideological harmonization emanating from the industry rhetoric. To summarize the contradictions, the disparities and the ambivalence as structural characteristics of the music industries as well as their implications, the term disparity feature is suggested.

Considering the disparity feature, then, in the third part, the current mutation of the music industries is discussed based on Peterson’s model for the production of culture and on the concept of creative destruction. In this perspective, the paper holds that there is no crisis of THE music industry (which actually does not exist), neither of the music industries, but a process of adaptation of several sections within various sectors of the music industries. Finally, a scenario for their future is outlined in the context of the current socioeconomic crisis and taking into account the disparity feature. In the light of the suggested perspective, the paper concludes that the analysis of contradictions and complexities and the departure from the dominant logic of the oligonomy, may reveal some unexpected ramifications of the current mutation.

 

Christos Barboutis, Alexandros Baltzis

In Radio Evolution, Conference Proceedings, pp. 117-130
Editors: Madalena Oliveira, Pedro Portela, Luís António Santos
Braga: Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS), University of Minho, 2012
ISBN: 978-989-97244-9-5

http://www.lasics.uminho.pt/ojs/index.php/radioevolution

 

Abstract

Based on previous research and literature, the paper presents the characteristics of the RF ("over-the-air") radio landscape in Greece and summarizes its basic features. This is a case where the mass media - and thus the RF radio as well - function in an environment defined by their dependence on strong complexes of political and economic interests. Research shows that the hierarchy of political, economic and cultural considerations upon which RF radio in Greece is structured, is affected by this dependence. The paper argues that, in addition to the institutional framework, this setting also strongly affects the news and musical content of the terrestrial ("traditional" or RF) radio. However, setting aside simplistic interpretations and conspiracy theories, the paper argues that in the Greek case radio is not a simple "pipeline", but rather an instrument that performs a dual function: on the one hand, it promotes the complexes of political and economic interests while, on the other, it contributes to the construction of ideology and culture.

Previous studies indicate that this double function is performed in multifarious, sophisticated and indirect ways. It cannot, therefore, be easily detected by solely analyzing the institutional framework or the market performance. A more complicated approach is needed, especially since previous studies show that the way the private radio was established in Greece and its subsequent development, ensured the safeguarding of a particular type of pluralism influenced by complexes of political and economic interests. In this sense, the paper examines the case of the Greek RF radio within the wider context of the media landscape in the country by taking under account several aspects of its historical evolution and social characteristics. In this way it sets out an example for the operation of the medium in small European markets.

Based on this review, the paper goes on to analyze the challenge that the Internet radio represents in the Greek media landscape. In this context, it raises several questions. First, about the possibility of and the ways in which Internet radio might differentiate from RF radio, breaking free from the burdens of the former. Considering previous analyses, the paper takes into account the tendency of the Internet radio to be colonized by the same forces and structures that dominate the RF radio and determine its content. Research has shown that this is a general tendency on the Internet as a whole. Second, it raises the question about the differences between the RF and Internet radio as communication media and social systems. In an attempt to study the probability of Internet radio making a difference in a media environment like the Greek one, the paper discusses research scenarios and methods for its scientific evaluation. Finally, the paper tries to outline the main directions of the research in order to examine whether the Internet might represent a new environment for radio or a new form of the old structures in the well-known and well established status quo.

 

Antonis Gardikiotis, Alexandros Baltzis

Psychology of Music, 2012, 40(2): 143-163
DOI: 10.1177/0305735610386836
SAGE Publications, ISSN: 0305-7356

 

Abstract

The present study examined the relationship between music preferences, values and musical identities in a sample of 606 Greek college students in the three institutes for higher education in Thessaloniki (Greece). Students indicated the importance of their music preferences in defining and evaluating themselves and their values on an abbreviated version of the Schwartz Value Survey (1992). The questionnaire included 26 musical genres resulted from an exploratory research.

The factor analysis revealed a typology of music preferences with five items: Sophisticated and Complex (e.g. jazz), Native-Greek Traditional (e.g. 'rembetika'), Sentimental and Sensational (e.g. pop), Established Rebellious (e.g. rock), and Non-mainstream Dissonant (e.g. punk).

Hierarchical regression analyses showed that values and perceived importance of music to self-definition (i.e. musical identities) contribute differentially in predicting the music preference structures (e.g. self-transcendence predicts Established Rebellious, conservation Sentimental and Sensational etc.).

The findings are discussed and interpreted in a social psychological framework as well as from the point of view of the sociology of music that has a long tradition in studying the musical taste and the factors that may have some influence on it. The chosen approach and point of view are based on the fact that during the last years it becomes more and more difficult to explain cultural consumption based on the "classical" demographic factors. As a result, there is an increasing interest to explore the common grounds between the omnivorousness hypothesis, developed by R. Peterson, and the homology argument, formulated by H. Gans and elaborated by P. Bourdieu.

This is the first study of this kind carried out in Greece, while the analysis of the relation between values and musical taste is not very common in the literature.

 

Alexandros Baltzis, Andreas Veglis

Peer reviewed journal Communication Issues (Zitimata Epikinonias), Issue 14-15/2012, pp. 5-7
Athens: University Research Institute of Applied Communication (Faculty of Communication & Media Studies, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens) / Kastaniotis Publications
ISSN: 1790-0824

 

Abstract

The preface presents the rationale for the decisions made on the articles included in this special issue by examining briefly the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of journalism studies as a field of scholarly inquiry. In accordance with Calcutt and Hammond who understand journalism studies as consciousness of journalism (not its conscience), the authors - like other analysts - hold that the field consists of a set of disciplines concerning the production of journalistic discourse, the practices, the forms, styles and formats, the social functions and the evolution of journalism, and the education of journalists as well.

Taking into account a very brief overview of the field in Greece (since a more detailed presentation appears in a couple of articles in this special issue), a view is maintained that has been developed also by other analysts: in contemporary societies where the regression or depreciation of democracy to authoritarian forms is observed, journalism itself becomes of particular importance not only (and perhaps not mainly) as a field for exercising hegemony, but as a field of resistance as well.

In this context, the authors also agree with other analysts that it would be self-defeating for the academy to allow its transformation into a training provider for the news industry as this would also mean to suspend critical analysis and abandon the in-depth study of journalism by developing journalism studies.

 

In Digital Media: The Culture of Sound and Spectacle, pp. 305-335
Editors: M. Kokkonis, G. Paschalidis, Ph. Bantimaroudis
Athens: Kritiki, 2010

 

Abstract

This is a review of the web radio and the research in this field from a perspective focused on the specific relation between radio and musical culture. The review identifies the main issues and presents the debates and the rationale of the empirical research on internet radio developed since the mid '90s. It underlines the subjects open to inquiry and suggests future directions of research. It also argues that the range of the issues, the number of the disciplines involved, the permanence of the debates and the inquiries, and the multiple directions in which future research might develop, show that the web radio is not a passing or circumstantial field. This is valid especially for those who maintain that the content specificity, the mode of its production, and a specific relation with the musical culture, define what radio is rather than transmission technologies.

The study highlights the cultural importance of the RF radio, its catalytic impact on musical culture, and outlines the peculiarities of the Greek case from this point of view. It argues that this might be a framework for analyzing internet radio. In the same line of argument, the study includes also a critical review of several sociological approaches concerning the construction of culture by the RF radio as well as its construction by the culture (Adorno, Hirsch, Peterson, Hennion, and Negus). It concludes that the web radio challenges these approaches while its relation with the musical culture is still open to exploration.

The analysis arrives at the conclusion, that while several studies have identified new trends and possibilities in this direction, the research has not yet gone far enough. As a result, although the internet radio does not seem to disrupt the relation with the musical culture, the peculiarities and extend of its impact have not been clarified yet while a re-examination and eventually a revision of the approaches challenged is still absent. Finally, the paper argues that research in this direction is crucial because it might lead to an enrichment of major theories and basic assumptions about both the production of culture and the culture of production.