Cultural memory and the heritagisation of a music consumption community

Daragh O'Reilly, Kathy Doherty, Elizabeth Carnegie, Gretchen Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how music consumption communities remember their past. Specifically, the paper reports on the role of heritage in constructing the cultural memory of a consumption community and on the implications for its identity and membership. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing upon insights from theories of cultural memory, heritage, and collective consumption, this interpretive inquiry makes use of interview, documentary, and artefactual analysis, as well as visual and observational data, to analyse an exhibition of the community’s popular music heritage entitled One Family – One Tribe: The Art & Artefacts of New Model Army. Findings – The analysis shows how the community creates a sense of its own past and reflects this in memories, imagination, and the creative work of the band. Research limitations/implications – This is a single case study, but one whose exploratory character provides fruitful insights into the relationship between cultural memory, imagination, heritage, and consumption communities. Practical implications – The paper shows how consumption communities can do the work of social remembering and re-imagining of their own past, thus strengthening their identity through time. Social implications – The study shows clearly how a consumption community can engage, through memory and imagination, with its own past, and indeed the past in general, and can draw upon material and other resources to heritagise its own particular sense of community and help to strengthen its identity and membership. Originality/value – The paper offers a theoretical framework for the process by which music consumption communities construct their own past, and shows how theories of cultural memory and heritage can help to understand this important process. It also illustrates the importance of imagination, as well as memory, in this process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7.2
Pages (from-to)174-190
Number of pages16
JournalArts and the Market
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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