Anthro 33: Culture 
and Communication



Study Questions for Wendy Fonarow's book Empire of Dir

[updated February 12, 2007

  1. What methods does Fonanow use to analyze indie music?
  2. What are the theoretical notions she uses (i.e. which concepts are important in her analysis)?
  3. How are the differences between "indie" and "mainstream" defined?
  4. How are the differences between behavior at indie concerts vs. at dances characterized?
  5. Why is it that indie fans don't like guitar solos?
  6. What's new about the ways in which Fonarow examines concerts?
  7. How does Fonarow situate Indie music in relation to Puritanism?
  8. How does Fonarow talk about the trickster? Why is it a useful metaphor for thinking about indie music?
  9. What is the role of the British weekly music press in the indie community?
  10. How is indie seen to manifest a contradiction between Western and West African metaphysics?
  11. How does Fonorow make the argument that participation in indie gigs is a rite of passage?
  12. What does "participant framework" mean, as Fonarow uses the term?
  13. What are the different "zones of participation" at an indie gig, according to Fonarow?
  14. Describe the participatory spectatorship and subjectivities of gig audience members in the different zones.
  15. How is indie seen to manifest a contradiction between Puritan ascetism and Romantic emotionalism?
  16. What does Fonorow mean by the illusion of performance?
  17. How does indie convey credibility and authenticity?
  18. How is gender a relevant category in analyses presented in the book?