Electro dance & Tecktonik: Interview for the Christian Science Monitor
Anne Petiau

Iinterview réalisée par Delphine Veaudor pour le Christian Science Monitor (Boston). 

Article complet à consulter en ligne : Robert Marquant, "Tecktonik: It's techno with a Parisian twist - a lot of really crazy twists" , Christian Science Monitor, 29 janvier 2008.

January 19 th interview with Anne Petiau,

sociologist, member of the Centre d'Etudes sur l'Actuel et le Quotidien, at the Université René Descartes - Sorbonne.

Speciality: popular musics and youth cultures.

Work on progress about the Tecktonik

No complete scientific work about the Tecktonik and Electro Dance

The problem is that there are very few quantitative studies dealing with electronic musics or hip-hop. One has been made by the Youth Ministery, but it was far before the Tecktonic spread. So all we have are observation studies, as the one I am presently working on.

According to my first observations, I think it is possible to state that the Tecktonik gathers together people that are mostly from the middle classes. The same statement could be made before about other forms of electronic musics.

The media dimension

One of the feature of this movement is its broad visibility in the media. It is not sure that the Tecktonik movment gathers together more people than the rave parties movement once did. But what is new here is that the Tecktonik gets overexposed in the traditional media and also on the Internet. We are not in an alternative movement as we were with the raves and the free-parties.

The people who are into the Tecktonik movement were born with the media and Internet culture. This side comes close to the real-TV shows phenomenon, where anyone can become a star and where existing socially means existing in the media.

Is it a culture?

As far as the Tecktonik is concerned, I think one might talk about a culture or a youth sub-culture. There is a whole of culture features in it: an aesthetics, a dance, a music, and social practices.

If the Tecktonik spread that much, it means that the movement is going beyond the brand. And it confirms another sociologic phenomenon stating that, before the categories called teenagers and young people, the group of pre-teenagers tends to get their own cultural practices.

The values

Concerning the values, we are not in the case of an alternative culture or one of protest. It has more to do with the disco culture, an hedonistic one, that has an aesthteic way of considering life.

I would say it is rather an easy-going culture.  On the contrary, another tradition of youth cultures exists, where the dark is valorised, where there is a kind of fall-over with the values compared to the rest of the society. Whereas in the Tecktonik movement, people assume the pleasure very much. Obviously, this is an apolitical and non-commited movement.

It can seem insignificant or sens-less because of this fun  aspect, but in the meanwhile, the Tecktonik brings many social practices and investment for the people who are within it (dance, sociabity, blog, video, etc.). You have the affiliation to the team, but also to the whole tecktonik community.

 Anne Petiau


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