Sammanfattning: The Independent PracticeDuring the last hundred years, the music industry has evolved with the record labels playing a central role. However, many argue that this situation is about to change as record sales have decreased during the last ten years. This imminent change in the music industry will not only affect the multinational record labels, but also the independent record labels. As record sales have decreased during the last ten years, the number of members in the Swedish Independent Music Producers Association (SOM) has increased and the association now includes 300 independent record labels which are responsible for around 30 percent of the music being produced in Sweden. However, they can be considered a dominated group within the music industry, since they only have around 10 percent of the total market shares when it comes to selling figures. Considering the changes in record sales, the domination of the major record labels and the somewhat fascinating growth of independent actors during turbulent times, this thesis will study how the Swedish independent actors relate to the practices and ideals relevant in the daily work of running an independent record label. The practices studied in this thesis are the practice of work, the practice of recognition and the practice of content production.The purpose of this thesis is to analyse how independence is constructed among the members of SOM. The thesis is based on material collected in a web survey as well as seven interviews with representatives of indie labels. The web survey was distributed to all members of SOM, and the interviewed informants were selected by snowball sampling, using a locator to find informants. The survey material was analysed with cluster and variance analysis, while the interview material was analysed using content analysis – searching for themes connected to the practices. All material is understood through the theoretical frame of the field theory.The main results of the study are that there are different ways of relating to practices among the Swedish independent actors, and that these ways of relating are closely connected to their position within the field. There are common ways of relating to practices such as always promoting DIY, the importance of music and the need to resist the dominance of the major labels. However, the independent actors are not consistent in how these commonalities work in practice. For example, DIY is not applied if it is not economically necessary, and the need to resist the major labels is only apparent when the independent actor has a weaker position within the field. The more established an independent actor is within the field, the lesser resistant he is against the dominating structures of the music industry. As a result of a weakening resistance against the major labels, the independent actors turn to struggle each other.
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