Hiding in Delight: Transgression, Irony And the Edge of Vice
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 15:14 by Ryan Bigge
This study examines a Montreal-based underground magazine and its use of "edge" as a strategy of retaining subcultural capital and limiting its readership, thus creating a narrow but profitable niche market that extends Thomas Frank's work on rebel consumption. Vice, through its content, tone and business strategies, unites a series of diverse but related issues including subculture, transgression, cultural intermediaries, the political economy of magazines, the audience commodity, the politics of pleasure and how media texts constitute audiences as consuming subjects. Through a combination of interlocking discursive and aesthetic strategies that involve transgression and irony, Vice is able to minimize aspects of the audience commodity as described by Dallas Smythe while foregrounding its subcultural capital. In this way, it is able to convert subcultural capital into economic capital while remaining a relevant and authentic underground publication.