Skip to content

Dr Lee K R MarshallB.A., MA (Warw), Ph.D.(Warw.)

Reader in Sociology

Lee Marshall

Dr Lee K R MarshallB.A., MA (Warw), Ph.D.(Warw.)

Reader in Sociology

Member of

Research interests

I am a sociologist of culture and my main research interests centre on issues concerning authorship, stardom and the music industry. I am interested in the social and institutional organisation of cultural production and consumption, particularly how ideological constructions about individuality and personality underpin the economic organisation of culture. Although my work includes different types of cultural production, my main substantive interest is popular music, and I am an active member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. The main focus of my work is on the music industry, but not merely in terms of economics and institutions. Rather, I am interested in how the structuring of the music industry shapes the discourses and practices involved in popular music consumption. In my view, if we want to understand what people in popular music (musicians, fans, critics...) say and do, then we must contextualise their actions within a broader institutional framework.

In my early career, I specialised on copyright and piracy in the music industry. I co-edited Music and Copyright with Simon Frith in 2004 and my first sole-authored book Bootlegging: Romanticism and Copyright in the Music Industry (2005) won the Socio-Legal Studies Association’s early career book prize. Since then, I have developed an interest in sociologically understanding celebrity and stardom and my book, Bob Dylan: The Never Ending Star (2007) is an attempt to understand an individual star through a sociological lens.

I am currently working on a number of projects that maintain my interests in stars and also contemporary developments in the music industry. I recently edited a collection entitled The International Recording Industries, published by Routledge in 2012. This book seeks to challenge the anglocentrism of popular music studies by providing case studies of the recording industry in eight different countries. I have also recently published papers on the structural functions of stardom in the music industry and on new contractual models in the recording industry (“360 deals”). I am currently researching the cultural and economic implications of streaming music services such as Spotify, and also (with Jo Haynes), conducting research into the working practices of independent musicians. My intention is to develop these ideas into a book on the implications of digital technologies for the production and consumption of popular music.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Cultural Work

View research connections

Postal address:
11 Priory Road
United Kingdom