Programme: Undergraduate
Type: Elective course
Curriculum: Mass Media
Semester: Spring


The course presents and analyses the social functions of the recording industry as a system for the production, distribution and consumption of symbolic forms tightly related to the social change, the mediatization and the mediamorphosis of the artistic communication in modern societies.

The course focuses on the relations between the music industry, the subcultural identities, and the minority cultures, as well as on its relation with forms of the dominant culture. In this context, the status and the social roles of the musicians, the stratification and the roles of the audiences, the social, cultural and ideological functions of various genres of popular, folk and mass music are discussed. The course explores also the transition of the music industry as a social system during the last decades. These developments are discussed in the context of the broader changes observed in the cultural field.

Special emphasis is placed upon the analysis of the lifestyles related to various musical cultures, as well as upon the interactions between this specific cultural industry and other social institutions. The course is advanced, as it needs a background offered in courses already taught (history - general and of mass media, theory of mass communication, media economics, sociology of mass communication, social psychology of the mass media).



  • Understanding the significance of the organization of the cultural production in modern societies, and also the complexities of the interactions between the production of culture and the cultures of production.
  • Comprehension of the ways in which the systems for the production, distribution and reception of symbolic forms function in societies where mass communication is dominant.
  • To develop a better understanding for the social, political, aesthetic and economic functions of the recording industry as a medium for mass communication.



There is not a single textbook in Greek to cover the major part of the course.


 Suggested literature

The suggested literature is usually modified and customized through consultations, depending on the topic chosen by the students for each essay and on the current syllabus. The following literature is indicative. Some texts are accessible through the campus net, while others are available in the library:

  • Reebee Garofalo (1999), "From Music Publishing to MP3: Music and Industry in the Twentieth Century". American Music, 17(3): 318-353.
  • Keith Negus (1999), Music Genres and Corporate Cultures. London, New York: Routledge.
  • Simon Frith (2001), "Ψυχαγωγία". Στο Μέσα Μαζικής Επικοινωνίας και Κοινωνία (επιμέλεια: James Curran, Michael Gurevitch), σελ. 230-253. Αθήνα: Πατάκης.
  • Αλέξανδρος Μπαλτζής (2003), "Μουσική Ζωή και Εμπορευματικές Σχέσεις". Στο Η Αξία της Μουσικής Σήμερα. Η Μουσική μεταξύ Ουμανισμού και Εμπορευματοποίησης, σελ. 153-166. Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις Ορφέως/Περιοδικό Μουσικολογία.
  • Νίκος Μπουμπάρης (2005), "Η Μουσική Βιομηχανία σε Μετάβαση". Στο Νικόλας Βερνίκος κ.ά., Πολιτιστικές Βιομηχανίες: Διαδικασίες, Υπηρεσίες, Αγαθά, σελ. 225-247. Αθήνα: Κριτική.
  • David Hesmondhalgh (2005), "Subcultures, Scenes or Tribes? None of the Above". Journal of Youth Studies, 8(1): 21-40.
  • Dick Hebdige (1988), Υπό-Κουλτούρα: Το Νόημα του Στυλ. Αθήνα: Γνώση.
  • Tak Wing Chan & John H. Goldthorpe (2007), "Social Stratification and Cultural Consumption: Music in England". European Sociological Review, 23(1): 1-19.
  • Marsha Siefert (1994), "The Audience at Home: The Early Recording Industry and the Marketing of Musical Taste". Στο Audiencemaking: How the Media Create the Audience (επιμέλεια: James S. Ettema & D. Charles Whitney), σελ. 186-214. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: SAGE Publications.
  • Theodor Adorno, Georges Simpson (1991), "Για τη Δημοφιλή Μουσική". Στο Τρία Κείμενα Μουσικής Κοινωνιολογίας (T. Adorno), σελ. 63-89. Αθήνα: Πρίσμα.
  • Σάββας Πατσαλίδης (2000), "Η Μουσική Rap και η Ιδεολογία της Βίας και της Αντίστασης". Μουσικολογία, 12-13, σελ. 189-205.
  • Wilfred Dolfsma (2004), "Consuming Pop Music/Constructing a Life World. The Advent of Pop Music". International Journal of Cultural Studies, 7(4): 421-440.
  • John Markert (2001), "Sing a Song of Drug Use-Abuse: Four Decades of Drug Lyrics in Popular Music - From the Sixties through the Nineties". Sociological Inquiry, 71(2): 194-220.
  • Ron Eyerman (2002), "Music in Movement: Cultural Politics and Old and New Social Movements". Qualitative Sociology, 25(3): 443-458.



The evaluation is based on essays of 2.500-3.000 words. The topics are defined in consultation with the instructor during the weeks 9 through 11. They are based on the scope of the course and on the issues analyzed and discussed during the semester. The course outline (provided each semester) can be used as a topics list, but it is not exclusive, leaving space for additional proposals. Additional literature and support is provided through consultations.

Grading criteria

The evaluation is influenced by the participation in the course during the semester and the collaboration for the assignment (10%), but it is mainly determined by the soundness of the final essay (90%): consistency and clarity of structure, academic style of discourse and relevance with the course topics, quality of the chosen sources and use of references, quality of documentation. Essays must comply with the guidelines provided in the teaching page.

Information about the next exam session, exam dates and essay due-dates can be found in the announcements page (provided that the exam dates have been announced).