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BCM311! Conference Paper Proposal

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For my research paper for BCM311 I am planning to look at the use of social media in the ‘EDM’ culture of American teenagers. ‘EDM’ is an acronym for Electronic Dance Music, which is a marketing term now used to describe any form of electronic music whether it trance, house, dubstep or any other genre. In the past 2 years, the popularity of the term ‘EDM’, dance music, raves, music festivals, clubbing and DJ culture have exploded, particuarly in America. In America, teenagers in the ‘EDM’ scene, worship their favourite DJs, attend a large amount of EDM events and have large friendship groups with this shared interest. The ‘EDM’ culture in America includes the notion of ‘peace, love, unity and respect’ also known as PLUR, as well as ‘Trance Family’, fans of trance music. The culture also involves ‘raves’ which involve elaborate outfits as shown in the image above.  That’s a broad and general description of the culture, but the aspect of ‘EDM’ culture I want to focus on is the use of social media by ‘EDM’ fans.

The ‘EDM’ craze is widely regarded in literature to have been caused largely due to social media. Fans congregate on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr to converse about their interests and share information. The ‘EDM’ community of American teenagers has a large online presence on Twitter, where fans have their own online identities, hashtags for events such as Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival and A State Of Trance trend worldwide, friendships are formed and an exclusive community is created. Fans worship their favourite artists and DJs, constantly interacting, and it has been said that getting retweeted is the new autograph. ‘EDM’ fans are devoted to this culture, and a large part of the devotion is expressed online.

Through my research I am planning to look at how these teenagers use social media and what role this media plays in the ‘EDM’ culture. What gratifications do they gain from social media? How important is social media in their daily lives and in the wider ‘EDM’ community? I am in the early stages of my research, but am excited to investigate a topic I am passionate in and an area yet to be researched in media studies.

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